Georgia senator Kelly Loeffler, a co-owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, has written to the league’s commissioner, Cathy Engelbert, objecting to a tie-in with Black Lives Matter.
Loeffler, a staunch ally of Donald Trump, reacted after the WNBA announced players will wear jerseys with the names of women killed by police and in racial violence on their jerseys when the league resumes later this month. They will also wear shirts with the slogan Black Lives Matter during warm-ups.
“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,” she wrote. “I believe it is totally misaligned with the values and goals of the WNBA and the Atlanta Dream, where we support tolerance and inclusion.”
Black Lives Matter is a decentralized movement and does not have official policies. Loeffler’s reference to Jesus may be due to the objection of some supporters to depictions of Jesus as a white European.
Loeffler, like Trump, wants to see the American flag honored at games.
“Though I was not consulted about – nor do I agree with the League’s decision in this matter, I am proposing a common-sense recommendation to ensure we reflect the values of freedom and equality for all,” she wrote. “I believe we should put an American flag on every jersey. Include it in our licensed apparel for players, coaches and fans.”
On Tuesday, the WNBA’s Players Association tweeted the message “E-N-O-U-G-H! O-U-T!” alongside a photo of Loeffler. The WNBA also released a statement on her comments.
“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 vigorously advocate for social justice,” it read. “Senator 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.”