The WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, co-owned by controversial former U.S. senator Kelly Loeffler, are closing in on the sale of the franchise.
“As it relates to the Atlanta Dream, we understand a sale of the franchise is close to being finalized,” the WNBA said in a statement. “Once the sale negotiation is concluded, additional information will be provided.”
Last summer, Loeffler, a Republican from Georgia, called Black Lives Matter a group based on Marxist principles that threatened to destroy America. She also said BLM is “anti-Semitic and doesn't support the nuclear family.”
Her comments were in direct opposition of NBA and WNBA players who are fighting for racial and social justice and prompted calls for her to sell the team.
"They can't push me out for my views,” Loeffler told ESPN in July. “I intend to own the team. I am not going.”
Atlanta Dream center Elizabeth Williams sets up for a shot on the IMG Academy court painted with a "Black Lives Matter" during a game on July 26, 2020. (Photo: Phelan M. Ebenhack, AP)
Even though the WNBA said Loeffler was not involved in day-to-day operations, her stake in ownership became toxic for the league. At a December campaign event, Loeffler was photographed with Chester Doles, a white supremacist who was a member of Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi National Alliance. Loeffler in a statement said she had no idea who Doles was.
In the November election, neither Loeffler nor her opponents received a majority of the vote, forcing a special election between Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock on Jan. 5. Warnock, a preacher at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta where Martin Luther King Jr. was a co-pastor, defeated Loeffler in the runoff, helping Democrats gain control of the U.S. senate.
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