Updated Jul 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Loeffler urges WNBA to scrap pro-Black Lives Matter jerseys

Sen. Loeffler in May.

Photo: Toni L. Sandys-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) urged the WNBA to reconsider its decision to allow players to wear warmup jerseys reading "Black Lives Matter" and "Say Her Name," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

What she's saying: The Georgia senator, a co-owner of Atlanta's WNBA franchise, told Commissioner Cathy Engelbert in a letter that the move "undermines the potential of the sport and sends a message of exclusion."

  • "The truth is, we need less — not more politics in sports. ... In a time when polarizing politics is as divisive as ever, sports has the power to be a unifying antidote. And now more than ever, we should be united in our goal to remove politics from sports," Loeffler added.
  • She instead suggested wearing an American flag on all uniforms and apparel.

Between the lines: Loeffler faces a competitive November special election against 20 other candidates, including Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.).

  • A group of WNBA players have asked Engelbert to sanction Loeffler for describing Black Lives Matter protests as "mob rule."
  • The senator has been pressured to sell her stake in the Atlanta Dream team since her appointment by Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in December 2019.

The other side:

The WNBA is based on the principle of equal and fair treatment of all people and we, along with the teams and players, will continue to use our platforms to advocate for social justice. Sen. Kelly Loeffler has not served as a Governor of the Atlanta Dream since October 2019 and is no longer involved in the day-to-day business of the team.
— WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert
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