Kelly Loeffler, co-owner of WNBA's Atlanta Dream, will be involved in a runoff to keep her Senate seat in Georgia. On Tuesday night, Loeffler, a Republican, was able to get enough votes to be in a runoff against Democratic candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock. Both candidates failed to earn at least 50 percent of the vote, and the runoff election will be held on Jan. 5.
Loeffler was appointed the seat by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp after Jonny Isakson stepped down for health reasons. She has taken some heat after writing a letter to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert about her disapproval of the league's support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Loeffler said the league needs to keep politics out of the game and put American flags on jerseys.
"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," Loeffler 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."
Loeffler also stated "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." The WNBA responded to the letter to let her know where the entire league stands.
"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," the WNBA said. "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."
Despite being a co-owner of the Dream, Loeffler doesn't have the support from her players. "I can't believe I ever stepped foot in Kelly's house and shared a meal with her," Former Dream player Layshia Clarendon wrote on Twitter. "It's actually really hurtful to see her true colors I had no idea while I played for ATL she felt this way. Happy to own us as long as we stay quiet and perform."