The confrontation between WNBA players and Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Löfler continues with players wearing shirts in support of the Republican senator’s opponent in the upcoming election.
Loefler, an avid supporter of Donald Trump, wrote to the WNBA last month, opposing the league’s support for the Black Lives Matter. She said the organization supports “the protection of the police, calling for the removal of Jesus from the churches and the destruction of the nuclear family structure, which supports anti-Semitic views and promotes violence and destruction throughout the country.”
Black Lives Matter is a decentralized movement and has no official policies. Leufler’s reference to Jesus may be due to the objection of some supporters against the portrayal of Jesus as a white European.
In response, the WNBA issued a statement stating that “it will continue to use our platforms to actively advocate for social justice.”
Opposition to Lawfler intensified this week, with WNBA players wearing Vote Warnock T-shirts in conjunction with Rafael Warnock, who is running for George vs. Lawfler for her seat in the US Senate.
Atlanta Dream striker Elizabeth Williams told ESPN that players wanted to avoid talking about Lawfler directly while still supporting their opponent.
“I think when all these things started happening to her, we didn’t want to feel like pawns,” Williams said. “We can only control so much of what the league does [in regard to Loeffler]and that’s why we wanted it to be bigger than that.
“That was the theme of this season. So we wanted to make sure we could still keep the focus on our social justice movement and funny enough, Rev Warnock is someone who supports everything we support and just happens to work in this place. So it really turned out really well. “
Warnock, a pastor and Democrat, said in a statement that he was “honored and humbled by the overwhelming support of WNBA players. This movement gives us the opportunity to fight for what we believe in, and I stand by all athletes who promote social justice on and off the court. “
Lawfler, meanwhile, condemned the move.
“This is just another proof that the culture of lifting control out of control wants to exclude anyone who disagrees with them,” she said in a statement. “It’s clear that the league is more about playing politics than basketball, and I stand by what I wrote in June.”
There have long been objections to Lawfler’s ownership of the Dream among WNBA fans and players, who see her conservative views as antithetical to the league’s progressive policies.