On the same day that Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) Declared that she had no intention of selling her stake in the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, the team's official Twitter account shared a message from players who collectively repudiated their criticisms of Black Lives Motion matter.
Written in his own voice, a Friday night tweet that included 13-player signatures says: "Our team is united in the Black Lives Movement. It is not extreme to demand change after centuries of inequality. This is not a political statement. This is a declaration of humanity. "
Glory Johnson's signature was incorrectly left out of this statement. She contributed to it, supports it and her signature must also be at the end. pic.twitter.com/BMUcHj8sRH
– Atlanta Dream (@AtlantaDream) July 11, 2020Advertisement
Signatories included all 12 players currently in Bradenton, Fla., Where the WNBA will soon begin playing in a self-described bubble at the IMG Academy, as well as veteran guard Renee Montgomery, who last month chose to leave the season to focus on social justice issues.
Montgomery wrote an open letter to Loeffler on Friday as well.
"I invite you to rethink your position and participate in a discussion with me", Montgomery I wrote. "While you may very well be on the 'right' side of the November elections, you are on the wrong side of history if you can't see the question of black life."
The previous Friday, in an editorial published on the Daily Caller website, Loeffler reiterated many of the criticisms of the Black Lives Matter movement that she had made throughout the week in tweets, television appearances and a letter to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert.
In the same letter, Loeffler, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, who was appointed to the Senate last December and is on the ballot this fall, expressed his opposition to the league's initiatives in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. These initiatives include showing "Black Lives Matter" on the Florida court and honoring women who died in connection with police actions or alleged racial violence.
Expressing her opposition to the "politicization of sport" in the editorial, she again defended the placement of an American flag on each shirt.
Responding to requests to sell her interest in Dream, including many WNBA players and their union, Loeffler indicated in the editorial that she will not.
"But this is America and I'm not going to bow to the crowd that woke up," wrote Loeffler. "I will not give up on the team because of my personal or political opinions."
The Dream players' statement did not require Loeffler or the league to take any specific action.
Earlier this week, the league issued a statement saying: "The WNBA is based on the principle of equal and fair treatment of all people and we, together with teams and players, will continue to use our platforms to vigorously defend social justice. Senator Kelly Loeffler has not been governor of the Atlanta Dream since October 2019 and is no longer involved in the team's daily business. "
Dream player Elizabeth Williams followed up on posting the team's official account, tweeting the same message and adding "We read the letter. We reject the letter."