A WNBA spokesperson has confirmed to ESPN that the Atlanta Dream WNBA franchise is close to being sold and former Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler will have no association with the team after the sale.
According to ESPN, up to five bidders have expressed interest in buying the team, of which Loeffler is a co-owner. Loeffler pushed the franchise into the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons last summer amid the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests.
When the league began its playoff bubble last summer, players requested the phrase Black Lives Matter be painted on the court and the league signed off on the demand, but Loeffler said she was “incredibly disappointed” by the league’s decision to paint the court and dedicate the season to the BLM movement. Days later Loeffler doubled down on her statements.
“What I see is politics coming into sports,” Loeffler said. “No one has asked politics to come into sports. Sports are about unifying people. People from all walks of life from all political views should be welcomed in sports and to cancel someone because they want to protect innocent life; because they are fighting for the unborn; because they support the Second Amendment; because I support the constitutional rights that have been given to us by God? Why would that not fit as part of American sports culture? That should be a tenet of sports, is to welcome all views.”
Her statements cost Loeffler the election, literally.
Players on the Dream began researching Loeffler’s opponent in her Senate race and once discovering what Rev. Raphael Warnock stood for began supporting him and even showed up to a playoff game in “Vote Warnock” t-shirts. It wasn’t long before other teams and players began supporting Warnock and he turned a 10 point deficit into a stunning victory that helped give Democrats control of the Senate.
John Brock, the former CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, is the majority owner of the Dream along with his wife Mary and they began the selling process last summer by sharing financial information with potential buyers.
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James was interested in buying the team and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts was said to be part of James’ ownership group, but it’s unclear if they’re still in contention to purchase the team.