WNBA players call for Kelly Loeffler’s removal (Reports).
WNBA players on Tuesday called for the removal of U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler as co-owner of the league’s Atlanta franchise, the Dream, after Loeffler expressed opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement and the league’s plans to add BLM and other social justice messages to team apparel this season.
The Women’s National Basketball Players Association made its point with a nine-letter tweet:
— WNBPA (@TheWNBPA) July 7, 2020
Liberty guard Layshia Clarendon, first vice president of the WNBPA and a former Dream player, later told ABC News she was surprised and hurt by Loeffler’s comments.
“A lot of people are great with Black people when they’re serving them in a different way, and that’s what we’ve seen so often with sports, with culture, with music . . . you’re OK with Black people as long as they kind of stay in their place or they’re performing or they’re sports stars,” Clarendon said. “Now that we’re kind of taking our power back and asking for better policing in communities, we’re asking for more resources to be poured in, I think it is uncomfortable. It’s really sad to see.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and ESPN.com reported Tuesday that Loeffler, R-Ga., wrote to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert objecting to the uniform additions. In her letter, Loeffler also expressed why she could not support BLM.
From the AJC:
The lives of each and every African American matter, and there’s no debating the fact that there is no place for racism in our country. However, 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.
Loeffler proposed placing the American flag on jerseys rather than such phrases as “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name.”