In a different timeline, in a fairer world, Kelly Loeffler might be facing insider trading charges and a Senate Ethics Committee investigation for selling stocks after being briefed in January about the coronavirus, before the stock market tanked in late March amid concerns about the pandemic.
However, in this timeline, our dystopian hellscape, Loeffler’s just a sitting U.S. Senator seeking re-election, playing to her base by taking a page out of the Trump playbook and appealing to racists’ fears.
Loeffler is also co-owner of the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA, and the league’s players have taken a stand, calling for her ouster after she criticized the league’s decision to display Black Lives Matter during games and to allow players to wear the names of victims of police violence on their jerseys.
Loeffler, who said she “adamantly oppose(s) the Black Lives Matter political movement,” requested that players wear American flags on their jerseys instead.
“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.”
It does look like Loeffler was a unifier one way, as the league and its players’ association have taken a unified stand against her.
The WNBA, a league that is more than 80 percent Black, and has a strong history of activism. Maya Moore gave up her career to help an innocent man gain freedom from wrongful imprisonment. Some of the league’s brightest stars, Imani McGee-Stafford, Natasha Cloud, Renee Montgomery and Tiffany Hayes, are opting out of this year’s “bubble” plan in Florida in order to fight for social justice. And in 2016, members of the Minnesota Lynx wore Black Lives Matter warm-up-shirts on the court and held a press conference to discuss racial profiling. In response, four Minneapolis police officers walked out on their stadium security detail.
Loeffler, a Republican Senator from Georgia, is proudly pro-gun and has co-sponsored three bills aimed at safeguarding gun owners’ rights. Apparently, she only supports the 2nd Amendment when it comes to arming white people. Last month, Loeffler characterized legally armed Black people in her state (Georgia is an open-carry state) as “mob rule” and “unacceptable.”
The WNBA, in a statement, tried to downplay Loeffler’s involvement in the league, saying in a statement that she is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the Dream and said it will “continue to use our platforms to vigorously advocate for social justice.”