Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, has written to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert to express her opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement and asked the league to put an American flag on every shirt in every league will continue the game later this month.
Loeffler responded to WNBA’s permission to play Black Lives Matter prominently on IMG Academy courts in Bradenton, Florida, where the league will hold its season. The WNBA and its union also agreed to honor women like Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, and Vanessa Guillen who died in connection with police operations or alleged racist violence.
Loeffler, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, wrote: “I am strongly opposed to the Black Lives Matter political movement, which has worked to de-finance the police and which called for the removal of Jesus from the churches and the disruption of the nuclear family structure, anti-Semitic views and promoting violence and destruction across the country. I think this is completely wrong with the values and goals of the WNBA and the Atlanta Dream, where we support tolerance and inclusion. “
She told Engelbert that she was “incredibly disappointed to read about the efforts to add a political platform to the league,” adding, “The truth is, we need less – no more politics in sports. At a time when which is just as polarizing the polarization of politics Sport still has the power to be a unified antidote. Now we should agree more than ever on our goal of removing politics from sport. “
In the letter, Loeffler said adding the American flag to jerseys and licensed clothing is a “reasonable” solution.
“Although I have not been consulted – and I do not agree with the league’s decision on the matter – I propose a common sense recommendation to ensure that we reflect the values of freedom and equality for all,” she wrote. “I think we should put an American flag on every shirt. Put it in our licensed clothing for players, coaches, and fans.”
A number of current and former WNBA players have asked Engelbert to remove Loeffler as a co-owner of the dream, including Sheryl Swoopes, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Natasha Cloud, Alysha Clark and Sue Bird. Swoopes tweeted that “the WNBA needs to do better”.
The WNBA Players Association also requested the removal of Loeffler.
OUT! Https: //t.co/XgIS2vRb2X
– WNBPA (@TheWNBPA) July 7, 2020
The WNBA made a statement on Tuesday saying, “The WNBA is based on the principle of equal treatment for all, and we, together with the teams and players, will continue to use our platforms to work vigorously for social justice. Sen. Kelly Loeffler has not been governor of the Atlanta Dream since October 2019 and is no longer involved in the team’s day-to-day operations. “