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In a letter to the WNBA commissioner, U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) says that the American flag rather than BLM-related wording should appear on player jerseys. And based on an interview on Fox News last night, she isn’t backing down.
The senator, who is a co-owner of the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA, was swiftly condemned by individual WNBA players as well as the players’ union.
Loeffler wrote that she objects to the BLM movement on the basis of its political ideology which, in her opinion, is inconsistent with tolerance and inclusion.
She also reaffirmed her disapproval over the violence that accompanied recent street protests.
It remains to be seen if the WNBA will take steps to cancel Loeffler’s ownership interest, which the union is calling upon the league to do, and force her to sell her portion of the franchise.
In a two-word tweet, the union said “E-N-O-U-G-H” and “O-U-T!”
— WNBPA (@TheWNBPA) July 7, 2020
In a statement, Commissioner Cathy Engelbert indicated that Loeffler no longer participates in the day-to-day management of the Dream.
“The league announced Monday it would kick off the season in late July with a tournament in Florida ‘centered around the Black Lives Matter movement’ and uniforms invoking the names of women such as Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by police in Kentucky in March,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
“This season, players are set to wear warmup jerseys emblazoned with ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the front and ‘Say Her Name’ on the back. ‘Black Lives Matter’ will also be featured on the courts during the games.”
The male counterpart league, the National Basketball Association, has approved 29 different social justice messages; any one of them can appear on the back of player jerseys when they take the court later this month, also in Florida.
NBA releases list of 29 pre-approved social justice messages for players’ shirts, unfazed by hilarious irony https://t.co/7YLUzSudvt
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 5, 2020
In her letter, Sen. Loeffler expressed support for free speech but at the same time advocated that sports should be de-politicized.
“Players, coaches, and yes – team owners – share differing opinions on many issues. All of us have a constitutional right to hold and to express our views. But to subscribe to a particular political agenda undermines the potential of the sport and sends a message of exclusion.
“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.
“The lives of each and every African American matter, and there’s no debating the fact that there is no place for racism in our country. However, 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. 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 – who was recently cleared of insider trading charges by the U.S. Justice Department — continued that no one consulted her about the WNBA-BLM social justice messaging. As such, she offered an alternative, more-unifying option.
“I am proposing a common-sense recommendation to ensure we reflect the values of freedom and equality for all. I believe we should put an American flag on every jersey. Include it in our licensed apparel for players, coaches and fans…
“Our flag has weathered countless storms, wars, and civil unrest. It symbolizes the strengths unique to our country and the American people. It stands for freedom, equality and hope. This important symbol will unite us as we work toward a better, brighter, and more equitable tomorrow.”
An unwavering Sen. Loeffler restated to Trace Gallagher, who was sitting for Martha MacCallum on FNC’s The Story, the importance of free speech for everyone and her opposition to the cancel culture n this controversy.
“There’s a big difference between the statement ‘Black Lives Matter.’ Of course, the life of every African American matters. We have to root out racism where it exists. But the political organization, Black Lives Matter, is very different. It has Marxist foundations. And it’s important for people to understand what their goals are because sports should be about unifying…
“But this political platform, Black Lives Matter, is funded through Act Blue which raises money for liberal organizations and Democrats. It has objectives of defunding the police, of defunding the military, of destroying the nuclear family. It’s anti-Semitic. It promotes violence in our cities. and I think It’s very important that Americans know this.
(Source: Fox News)
Former Fox Sports host Jason Whitlock claimed on the Outkick platform that Sen. Loeffler raised some valid points.
“We can nitpick the details but there is some merit to Loeffler’s concerns and allegations. Her letter to commissioner Cathy Engelbert is worthy of a thoughtful response….She’s looked beyond the slogan, examined BLM’s stated agenda on its website and wondered if it’s wise for a wannabe mainstream sports league to embrace BLM. She committed a thought crime. The mob now wants to cancel her…
“BLM’s grounding in Marxist/communist values concerns me as a Christian. Marxism, communism and socialism are anti-religion. That’s one of the reasons BLM is anti-nuclear family. BLM is a great slogan. That’s about it…BLM is a political marketing ploy that callously exploits tragic deaths to advance a political agenda that does not serve black people. ..”
In the missive to the commissioner, Sen. Loeffler also assailed the violence that has accompanied the recent protests against police brutality.
“Amid the recent unrest in many American cities, this movement advocated the creation of lawless autonomous zones in places like Atlanta. I denounced these zones of violence—for which I have been criticized. However, this same group fell silent over the fourth of July weekend when an 8-year-old girl was murdered under the ‘mob rule’ that I warned about days earlier. This is not a political movement that the league should be embracing, and I emphatically oppose it. ‘
Sen. Loeffler faces 20 other candidates, Democrats and Republicans alike, including U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, on November 3, with a possible runoff between the top two finishers in January if no one gets 51 percent on Election Day.
Parenthetically, the WNBA would probably fold without the heavy subsidy it receives from the NBA.
The Atlanta Dream finished with a record of 8-26 last season
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