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The Atlanta Dream Guard Renee Montgomery has conquered the basketball court both in the WNBA and previously at the University of Connecticut. But last month, Montgomery decided that a bigger fight needed to be fought, and therefore decided to end the 2020 WNBA season to focus on racist and social justice.
She didn’t know that her first big battle would take her to the other side of her own team owner.
Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler, who is also a Republican senator from Georgia, made waves on Tuesday when she sent a letter to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert asking the league to send American flags to the jerseys to restart the league instead of the proposed anti-racism messages “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name” (an indication of the recent murder of Breonna Taylor in Louisville).
This led to a complaint by the WNBA Players Association, which tweeted in response to Loeffler: “ENOUGH! OUT!”
Montgomery, who won the Minnesota Lynx WNBA Championships in 2015 and 2017 before signing a multi-year contract with Atlanta in 2018, also shared her disappointment with Loeffler on Tuesday. She tweeted, “I’m pretty sad to see that my team ownership doesn’t support the movement and everything it stands for.” Montgomery also suggested that the two could have a conversation on the subject.
Loeffler doubled her stance during an interview with Laura Ingraham on Wednesday evening and told Fox News presenter that Black Lives Matter was “based on Marxist principles” that “threatened to” destroy America. The Senator also called the BLM group “anti-Semitic and does not support the nuclear family”. Loeffler said she would not give up her share in the dream, even though the players and the union told her to.
And so Montgomery wrote a letter to Loeffler in Medium on Friday after receiving no response to her invitation to speak.
“Your comments hurt deeply because it’s a veiled answer to” All Lives Matter, “” Montgomery wrote. “It is not that you are deaf to the call for justice, but you seem to be against it. And you speak of a position with immense influence as a team co-owner in our league and as a US senator.”
After making analogies to the murdered civil rights activist Medgar Evers and the Australian Aborigines, Montgomery tried to address Loeffler on a personal level.
“Imagine your friend is overwhelmed with grief, tears flow down her cheeks and trust you to have breast cancer. How good would you be as a friend if you folded your arms and replied: ‘All types of cancer are important? ‘
“This year, I no longer need friends who tell me: ‘Everyone is important.’ I know that. I need someone to tell me, “You, Renee, don’t care.” “”
OPINION: Senators who advocate social justice should stick to politics
Loeffler faces a tough reelection competition in November, and Montgomery said she understands the Senator’s attempts to turn to her base, but insulted Loeffler’s insistence that sport shouldn’t mix with politics.
“I kindly invite you to reconsider your position and discuss with me,” concluded Montgomery. “While you could be on the ‘right’ side of the November election, you’re on the wrong side of the story if you can’t see Black Lives Matter.”
You can read the full Montgomery letter here.