The WNBA and NBA approved the sale of the Atlanta Dream, officials announced Friday, ending the controversial possession of former US Senator Kelly Loeffler.
The Republican from Georgia criticized the WNBA’s efforts to draw attention to them Social Justice Issues and the Black Lives Matter Movementand encourages players from their own team to do so Campaign for Raphael Warnock, the man who beat Loeffler in a Senate runoff last month.
The boards of directors of the WNBA and NBA “unanimously approved the sale of the Atlanta Dream” to a group of investors led by Northland Real Estate Chairman Larry Gottesdiener, COO Suzanne Abair and former Dream star Renee Montgomeryaccording to league officials.
“With the unanimous WNBA and NBA votes, today marks a fresh start for the Atlanta Dream organization and we are delighted to welcome Larry Gottesdiener and Suzanne Abair to the WNBA,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert in a statement .
“I admire her passion for women’s basketball, but above all I am impressed by her values. I’m also thrilled to have ex-WNBA star Renee Montgomery join the group of owners as an investor and executive on the team. Renee is a trailblazer who makes a huge impact both in the game and beyond. “
Montgomery is now the first former WNBA player to own it.
“My dream came true,” Montgomery said in a statement. “Breaking barriers for minorities and women by becoming the first former WNBA player to have both involvement and leadership on the team is an opportunity I take very seriously.”
Loeffler, who held 49 percent of the women’s basketball team, said she was against the league’s embrace the Black Lives Matter movement, despite millions of Americans protesting systemic racism last summer.
The players said Loeffler’s views are far from a league where nearly 70 percent of the players are black. When Loeffler publicly protested protests, Dream and other WNBA players saw an opening to have their voices heard, particularly at the ballot box.
“We did it as we knew it” Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks Star and Players Union President said NBC News earlier this month. “And that was by asking people who knew what they were doing and we just listened. That’s what it takes, and we bring our voice to the table where we feel it is necessary. “
In a joint statement on Friday, co-owners Loeffler and Mary Brock said they were proud of their 10-year tenure and called the dream “an important asset for a vibrant and diverse city.”
“It was also important to us to improve the playing field for women as a professional,” they said. “We’re proud of what we’ve achieved and wish the team all the best in the next chapter. We will always appreciate the hard work and dedication, memories, fans, and friendships that our dedication to the Atlanta Dream has brought about over the past decade have supported. “
Randi Richardson contributed.