The WNBA approved the sale of the Atlanta Dream franchise to a new ownership group on Friday, officially ending the tenure of controversial former US Senator Kelly Loeffler as team owner.
The team was put up for sale in part due to pressure from Dream players themselves, who protested Loeffler's presence in the organization after her criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The saga had some parallels to that of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was banished for life by the NBA and made to sell the team thanks in part to a player mutiny after he was heard making racist remarks on a recording.
Loeffler, an ultra-conservative legislator and prominent supporter of President Trump, lost her seat in January, in one of two Senate run-off elections in Georgia.
The franchise was purchased in part by former Dream star Renee Montgomery, who partnered with a pair of executives from the national real estate firm Northland to head up the new ownership group.
Loeffler's tough stance on BLM prompted dissent from Dream players, who openly campaigned on behalf of Loeffler's Democratic challenger, and eventual winner, Raphael Warnock.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said the sale marked the dawn of a new day for the Dream.
“With the unanimous WNBA and NBA votes, today marks a new beginning for the Atlanta Dream organization, and we are very pleased to welcome Larry Gottesdiener and Suzanne Abair to the WNBA,” Engelbert said in a statement.