Republican Senator and Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler, who has denounced the Black Lives Matter movement by stating it doesn’t belong in the WNBA, is facing strong opposition for her seat by Democratic challenger Rev. Raphael Warnock. Players from the Atlanta Dream, along with four other WNBA teams, wore black “Vote Warnock” T-shirts at Tuesday’s games, in support of Warnock according to ABC News.
Players from the Dream, Seattle Storm, Chicago Sky, and Phoenix Mercury walked into the IMG Academy arena in Bradenton, Florida, where the WNBA is playing the current season due to the coronavirus, on Tuesday sporting black T-shirts with the words “VOTE WARNOCK” printed in white.
Elizabeth Williams, a forward for the Atlanta Dream, stated that the league’s executive committee began exploring the shirt idea as a response to Loeffler’s statements.
“We can only control so much about what the league does [in regard to Loeffler], and so for us, we wanted it to be bigger than that,” Williams told ESPN.
“That’s kind of been the theme of this season. So we wanted to make sure we could still keep the focus on our social justice movement, and funny enough, Rev. Warnock is somebody who supports everything that we support and just happens to be running in that seat. So it just worked out really well.”
We are @wnba players, but like the late great John Lewis said, we are also ordinary people with extraordinary vision. @ReverendWarnock has spent his life fighting for the people and we need him in Washington. Join the movement for a better Georgia at https://t.co/yoJkjDeYy7 pic.twitter.com/IwK6xRqTIJ
— Sue Bird (@S10Bird) August 5, 2020
Warnock expressed his gratitude for the players via his Twitter account.
I am honored and humbled by the overwhelming support from the @WNBA players. This movement gives us the opportunity to fight for what we believe in, and I stand by all athletes promoting social justice on and off the court. #BlackLivesMatter
— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) August 4, 2020
Loeffler responded with a statement of her own. “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.”