Kelly Loeffler’s Rhetoric Offends Her WNBA Team


Kelly Loeffler (above), a U.S. senator and part-owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, has offended her players with her unwillingness to support Black Lives Matter. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Kelly Loeffler became the owner of the WNBA team the Atlanta Dream knowing she was not going to profit from it. Being a former basketball player herself, she knew how important it was for her to support and be the voice for female athletes. 

Loeffler holds a very controversial position currently as the team’s co-owner. She has recently been a poster child for bad politics on Capitol Hill. Right as COVID-19 first spread, Loeffler, a Republican senator from Georgia, sold more than $20 million in stocks, avoiding massive losses when the market took a hit from COVID-19. This led people to believe she had insight into the hit the stock market was about to take. Although the Senate Select Committee on Ethics found no evidence of her violating the federal law or Senate rules, it still left people feeling uneasy. 

In 2010, Loeffler purchased a share of the WNBA team the Atlanta Dream. From the start, she was always involved, known for sitting at center court and digesting each and every play, leading her to form close relationships with the players. She invited them to her estate in Atlanta ahead of every season for dinner and talked with the players about her love for basketball. 

This year, the WNBA has dedicated their season to the Black Lives Matter movement. This decision is not surprising as the majority of players in the league are from minority races. Specifically, 83% are players of color, and of that percentage, 67% are Black or African  American women. If the WNBA didn’t support the movement, it would be a very bold and controversial statement, directly offending their players.

Days after the WNBA released the statement saying they would be supporting the BLM movement, Loeffler, in a letter to the public, stated that she opposed the BLM movement. She believes it advocates for defunding the police, holds anti-Semitic views and promotes violence, among other concerns. Loeffler wrote, “The truth is, we need less — not more politics in sports. In a time when polarizing politics is as divisive as ever, sports has the power to be a unifying antidote.”

Loeffler’s stance on this movement directly contradicts the message the WNBA is trying to send while also offending her players at the same time. On social media, the Atlanta Dream posted a message saying that they are “united in the Movement for Black Lives.” They went on to acknowledge that it was not a political statement but rather a “statement of humanity.” 

Loeffler is up for election in November. She is committed to her role as owner of the Dream and has shown no inclination that she will step down. With her upcoming election and rest of the season to go, it’s hard to say whether the team will unite with their owner or stand up for what is right.