U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, co-owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, snapped back at her players after they took the court in T-shirts supporting one of her opponents in the Georgia senatorial election.
“This is just more proof that the out of control cancel culture wants to shut out anyone who disagrees with them,” she wrote in a statement issued late Tuesday. “It’s clear that the league is more concerned with playing politics than basketball.”
Players on the Dream and the team they played Tuesday, the Phoenix Mercury, walked into the gym at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., wearing shirts that said “Vote Warnock” and “Black Lives Matter.” Players from the Seattle Storm and Chicago Sky wore the same shirts.
Republican Loeffler is on the November ballot against Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock, a Black pastor in Atlanta. They are two of the candidates running for the seat in the Nov. 3 election. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers advance to a runoff in January.
Loeffler has been critical of the Black Lives Matter movement and has openly expressed her disagreement with the WNBA’s display of “Black Lives Matter” on the court in Florida and the honoring of women who have died in connection with police action or alleged racial violence.
Commissioner Cathy Engelbert declined to take any action against Loeffler last month.
“We’re not going to force her to sell her ownership,” Engelbert told CNN. “She is not a current governor (of a team), she is not involved in the day-to-day, and we are aware there are interested parties who want to purchase the team.
“We have a board of governors -- she has not served as a governor since she became a senator, so since October of 2019.”
Earlier Tuesday, Dream center Elizabeth Williams shared a photo of herself on Twitter wearing the pro-Warnock shirt.
"We are @wnba players, but like the late, great John Lewis said, we are also ordinary people with extraordinary vision. @ReverendWarnock has spent his life fighting for the people and we need him in Washington. Join the movement for a better Georgia at Warnockforgeorgia.com."
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