Atlanta Dream co-owner and U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler has come under fire for asking the league and WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert to step back from its plans to promote social justice causes when it tips off this month. Loeffler said the league’s plan of promoting the Black Lives Matters movement and the ‘Say Her Name’ campaign “sends a message of exclusion.” Loeffler’s comments quickly were met with opposition from players.
Engelbert and the league released a statement in response on Tuesday: “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. Sen. Kelly Loeffler has not served as a Governor of the Atlanta Dream since October 2019 and is no longer involved in the day-to-day business of the team.”
The WNBA previously announced that players could wear Breonna Taylor’s last name on their uniforms throughout the season, in honor of the Black woman who was shot and killed in a no-knock search warrant not related to her in Louisville. The players will also wear warm-up shirts all season with ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the front and ‘Say Her Name’ on the back.