Kelly Loeffler, who served as a United States senator until Reverend Raphael Warnock defeated her in Georgia’s runoff election earlier this month, is reportedly close to selling the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream. Once the sale is finalized, Loeffler will no longer have any association with the team she has co-owned since 2012, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
In a letter to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert this summer, Loeffler implored the league to distance itself from the Black Lives Matter cause, arguing that the Black Lives Matter organization (separate from the social justice movement) supported “socialism” and was rooted in “Marxist principles.” On top of asking Engelbert to abandon the league's use of anti-racist messages like “Say Her Name"—an obvious reference to Breonna Taylor—Loeffler also proposed the WNBA display the American flag on its uniforms.
Loeffler’s vocal opposition to BLM predictably drew widespread criticism with many urging her to sell her 49-percent ownership stake. African Americans comprise roughly two thirds of the league’s player population, according to a 2019 study conducted by Dr. Richard Lapchick, a professor at the University of Central Florida.
In protest, several teams joined the Dream in wearing “Vote Warnock” shirts before games in the WNBA’s Florida bubble this past season. Warnock’s eventual victory on January 5th effectively gave Democrats control of the Senate for the first time since Barack Obama’s second term as President.
Shelburne reports the Dream are fielding offers from as many as five bidders. LeBron James, among others, had expressed interest in buying the Dream from Loeffler and majority owners Mary and John Brock, the latter being the former CEO of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises.