Kelly Loeffler Wants Atlanta Dream WNBA Team To Shut Up, Dribble, Maybe Tap Dance A Little
Georgia Senator and insider-trading Disney villain Kelly Loeffler is also co-owner of the WNBA team the Atlanta Dream. Tuesday, Loeffler sent a message via flying monkey to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert demanding that the women's basketball league keep its players from wearing warmup jerseys that read “Black Lives Matter" and “Say Her Name" (the latter is a reference to Breonna Taylor, who the police killed in her sleep). Instead, she'd like to see an American flag on all team uniforms and apparel so she never forgets what country she's in.
LOEFFLER: The truth is, we need less—not more politics in sports.
The American flag is a political statement.
LOEFFLER: In a time when polarizing politics is as divisive as ever, sports has the power to be a unifying antidote.
Loeffler just wants to enjoy a basketball game after a hard day at the job she bought. She doesn't want to consider divisive political issues such as “Black people exist and their lives matter."
Skip Bayless React to Atlanta Dream owner Kelly Loeffler objects to WNBA's social justice plans www.youtube.com
LOEFFLER: And now more than ever, we should be united in our goal to remove politics from sports.
If that was her goal — other than silencing Black women — she should step down as team co-owner because her very presence is inherently political. She's a sitting senator for at least the new few months or so.
Senator Plantation Wedding claims promoting “a particular political agenda undermines the potential of the sport and sends a message of exclusion." I guess racists feel “excluded" if Black people aren't constantly tap-dancing with a smile in our hearts, but those days are over.
Players, who are mostly Black, and fans, who are mostly human, weren't thrilled with Loeffler's missive. Dream guard Renee Montgomery is sitting out the 2020 WNBA season, and she listed Loeffler's grossness as a reason why she's focusing on so-called “divisive issues," which is Miss Millie speak for “civil rights."
Dear @SenatorLoeffler .... I’m pretty sad to see that my team ownership is not supportive of the movement & all t… https://t.co/L9UTGdbczM— Renee Montgomery (@Renee Montgomery)1594153177.0
Commissioner Engelbert's response to Loeffler was a resounding, “Girl, please."
The WNBA is based on the principle of equal and fair treatment of all people and we, along with the teams and players, will continue to use our platforms to vigorously advocate for social justice.
The WNBA further distanced itself from Loeffler, stating she isn't involved in day-to-day operations. She doesn't even go here! The player's union, though, is fed up with her and wants the president's loyal stooge gone.
E-N-O-U-G-H! O-U-T! https://t.co/XgIS2vRb2X— WNBPA (@WNBPA)1594150333.0
There's been pressure for Loeffler to sell her stake in the Atlanta Dream ever since Gov. Brian Kemp appointed her to replace the retiring Johnny Isakson. She'll never stand on the side of most players, and she's bad for business across the entire league because she's pissing off major players such as Sue Bird, Skylar Diggins-Smith, and Natasha Cloud, who are free to speak up and even leave if they wish. They aren't sharecroppers.
“Our league is made up of 80% of Black females,” says WNBA star Natasha Cloud about Atlanta Dream co-owner Sen. Loe… https://t.co/eB7uVqN7Em— CNN Tonight (@CNN Tonight)1594180832.0
Like a knockoff Donald Trump, Loeffler repeatedly equates the entire Black Lives Matter movement with “mob rule" and a Mad Libs list of negatives.
LOEFFLER: I adamantly oppose the Black Lives Matter political movement, which has advocated for the defunding of police, called for the removal of Jesus from churches and the disruption of the nuclear family structure, harbored anti-Semitic views, and promoted violence and destruction across the country.
I think it's the cops who are “disrupting the nuclear family structure" when they kill fathers, mothers, and children.
Loeffler's desperate because she's trailing Doug Collins in the upcoming Senate “jungle primary," but polls show that 2015's race baiting doesn't work. There's widespread support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and that includes suburban communities where the GOP assumed candidates like Loeffler would dominate.
"As a Black woman, as a queer woman playing in sports... my existence is political," @Layshiac, of @nyliberty, says… https://t.co/kS7yUsyRre— ABC News Live (@ABC News Live)1594167207.0
New York Liberty point guard Layshia Clarendon, who played for the Dream from 2016 to 2018, called out Loeffler on Twitter.
I can't believe I ever stepped foot in Kelly's house and shared a meal with her. It's actually really hurtful to see her true colors. I had no idea while I played for ATL she felt this way. Happy to own us as long as we stay quiet and perform.
This is perhaps the most damning statement. It reinforces the argument that Loeffler is just playing politics. She's trying to out-racist Doug Collins as the most “pro-police/anti-BLM" candidate. But actual racists don't like opportunists from Illinois who come down South and try to fake the George Wallace funk. And everyone else just think she sucks. That's a sizable portion of the electorate.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."