Republican, and Atlanta Dream partial owner Kelly Loeffler has been defeated in the Georgia senate special election run-off by the Reverend Raphael Warnock, her Democrat challenger who had received the endorsement of many WNBA players, including players from the Dream. The Dream’s players, and several former Dream players including Angel McCoughtry and Layshia Clarendon, spear-headed the WNBA’s resistance to Loeffler after the then-Senator published a letter responding to the WNBA’s decision to dedicate the 2020 season to the Black Lives Matter movement. Loeffler stated at the time that she “adamantly opposes the Black Lives Matter movement,” calling the organization radical, divisive, and intolerant. Loeffler condemned the league for dedicating the season to the Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name campaigns. Loeffler, in addition to her blatant racism, is perhaps most notable for standing accused of using information from her senate position for insider trading, infamously investing in a company that produces body bags in early 2020, ahead of the coronavirus pandemic.
On August 4th, 2020, in their first game after Loeffler published her anti-Black Lives Matter tirade, players for the Atlanta Dream showed up wearing Vote Warnock t-shirts, and dedicating all of their media availability to promoting the Reverend’s candidacy. When the Atlanta Dream picked up Warnock’s cause, he was only polling in the single digits, trailing Loeffler as well as Republican Doug Collins and Democrat Matt Lieberman. In the day following the Atlanta Dream’s protest of Loeffler, word of Warnock’s campaign spread across social media, propelled as it was championed by more WNBA players, and NBA players alike.
Within two days of the Atlanta Dream’s pregame promotion, the Warnock campaign had raised almost $200,000 dollars in donations. Warnock himself called the Dream’s endorsement a turning point in his campaign, as those donations became a nest egg that allowed Warnock to begin airing TV and radio ads, and in general campaign more aggressively. The Warnock team did well to capitalize on this boon, building enough momentum to force a run-off with Loeffler back in November, and, of course, to finally overcome Loeffler and win the election this week.
We at Sports are From Venus are excited congratulate senator-elect Warnock, as well as fellow new Democratic Senator from Georgia, Jon Ossof.
Dani Bar-Lavi is a genderfluid sportswriter who largely covers the WNBA. For more thoughts and opinions from Dani, check out their Twitter, their author page here, or, visit NetsRepublic or Queen Ballers Club.