The WNBA Has A “Donald Sterling” Problem With Kelly Loeffler

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, is the WNBA’s “Donald Sterling” for writing to commissioner Kathy Englebert in opposition against the “Black Lives Matter” movement and calling for American flags to be put on every jersey.

Loeffler responded to the WNBA’s plan to have “Black Lives Matter” on the courts at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida where the season will be held.

Loeffler said, “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 believe it is totally misaligned with the values and goals of the WNBA and the Atlanta Dream, where we support tolerance and inclusion.”

The Republican Senator from Georgia’s comments are extremely racist and should not be tolerated by the WNBA. Loeffler should be removed from her stake of ownership of the Dream.

Loeffler’s racism is harmful to the point that she should be treated like Donald Sterling when he was removed from ownership from the Los Angeles Clippers over racist comments he made.

The decision is easy considering NOBODY in pro basketball likes Loeffler. On Twitter, @AndrewJoePotter compiled a thread of all the comments pro basketball players who want to remove Kelly Loeffler from ownership. There’s a lot.

Sydney Colson tweeted, “Let me be clear: we don’t give a damn what you think @KLoeffler. Cut all ties with the league, stop giving your bigoted opinions about black affairs, & tend to ur insider trading sweetheart (painting nail emoji).”

Breanna Stewart tweeted, “How is she still an owner? Bye Kelly. Keep that negative energy out of our league.”

Alex English tweeted, “This is a bad look for the @AtlantaDream and the @WNBA … Donald Sterling vibes. #blacklivesmatter

Renee Montgomery, Lin Dunn, Swin Cash, Alysha Clark, Sue Bird, Sheryl Swoopes, Detlef Shrempf, Angel McCoughtry, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Natasha Cloud, Baron Davis, and A’ja Wilson all expressed sentiment in removing Loeffler from ownership.

The WNBA released a statement saying, “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.”

It is not enough for the WNBA to distance themselves from Loeffler and remove her from day-to-day operations of the Dream. The WNBA needs to stop taking her money.

It hurts the WNBA financially to move on from Loeffler, but I’m sure given the circumstances that someone could replace her support.

Baron Davis tweeted, “I will buy her interest !! She gotta go.”

Davis then came up with a great idea.

Davis tweeted, “Owner idea: crowdfund part of my investment from the community. Making sure that the community has a voice. And can be apart of the growth n value of the team. Thoughts?”

If Baron Davis is serious about buying Loeffler’s shares of the Atlanta Dream, the WNBA should make this happen. Especially if Davis goes through with his idea, having a community-owned team sounds like an awesome unique idea. Let the people have a say in their pro sports team!

What looks better for the WNBA’s image? Kelly Loeffler and her racism, corruption, and homophobia? Or a community-owned team organized by a respected former NBA player?

Commissioner Cathy Engelbert is in her first season in her role, the same way NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was when he removed Sterling from ownership. Engelbert needs to take a stand for the long-term sake of the league.

Money talks which is probably why Donald Sterling was able to own the Clippers for so long. Loeffler is a great source of money for a league always looking for more investment.

However, if she fundamentally does not think that her own players matter as human beings, she should not be an owner. In a league that is 88% Black with a vibrant LGBTQ community, there is no reason to have someone in the league who is this hateful.

It would be soooo cool if Baron Davis orchestrates his community ownership of the Atlanta Dream from Kelly Loeffler. Let’s hope this Twitter banter turns into a reality.

For more WNBA content from Sports Are From Venus, click here.

For more thoughts and opinions from Zachary Diamond, check out his author page or Twitter.

(PHOTO: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

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