Ahead of Tuesday night’s game, several WNBA players wore “Vote Warnock,” in support of Reverend Raphael Warnock, who is running against Atlanta Dream owner Kelly Loeffler for U.S. Senate.
Dream and Mercury players are wearing “Vote Warnock” shirts to their game today.
Raphael Warnock is running against Kelly Loeffler for Senate. Loeffler is a co-owner of the Dream and said she opposes the Black Lives Matter movement.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 4, 2020
Loeffler has been facing backlash over a letter she sent to commissioner Cathy Englebert last month calling for Engelbert to put an end to the league’s inclusion of Black Lives Matter in its social justice initiatives, according to CBS News. She also spoke out against players wearing BLM warm-up apparel before games.
Multiple players, with the support of the WNBA Players Association, have called on Loeffler to step down as co-owner of the Atlanta Dream. But, on Tuesday, Sue Bird opened up about the players’ statement, saying, “We’re a league that represents more than just basketball and I think one of things that is really important to us is voting. I think this is just a great way to connect those dots between social justice and getting out and voting.”
“For the players it was optional, it was voluntary” Bird continued, adding that “it’s always great to be unified.”
Sue Bird shared some insight on players wearing "Vote Warnock" T-shirts to the games today.
Rev. Raphael Warnock is challenging Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) for her Senate seat.
— espnW (@espnW) August 5, 2020
Loeffler issued a statement in response to the “Vote Warnock” shirts, accusing the league of “playing politics.”
“This is just more proof that the out of control cancel culture wants to shut out anyone who disagrees with them. It’s clear that the league is more concerned with playing politics than basketball, and I stand by what I wrote in June,” she said, standing by her statement against players wearing BLM apparel before games.
In January, Loeffler filled a Georgia Senate seat vacated by the resignation of Johnny Isakson. A special election for the seat will be held on November 3, with 21 candidates on the ballot.
— Niles Edward Francis (@NilesGApol) August 5, 2020