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Loeffler won’t have to sell stake in WNBA team, commissioner says

Seated in the middle of the room Senator Kelly Loeffler gives the thumbs up as she is recognized by President Donald Trump during his visit to Georgia to talk about an infrastructure overhaul at the UPS Hapeville hub at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Seated in the middle of the room Senator Kelly Loeffler gives the thumbs up as she is recognized by President Donald Trump during his visit to Georgia to talk about an infrastructure overhaul at the UPS Hapeville hub at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, won’t be forced to sell her stake in the team.

Loeffler wrote an open letter last week to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Englebert opposing players’ plans to honor and participate in the Black Lives Matter movement during the season.

Following the letter, many high-profile current and former WNBA players questioned Loeffler’s place in the league, where a majority of players are Black, and they called for her ouster. Dream players released a statement rejecting the letter.

In a segment on CNN, Englebert repeated the league’s stance that Loeffler is “no longer involved in the day-to-day business of the team” and hasn’t been since October 2019.

“We review all of our owners’ public statements,” Englebert said. We are aware there are interested parties who want to purchase the team. I know that’s being worked on. I can’t really comment on everything that’s being said in a political environment.”

Loeffler, who is now in her 10th season of co-owning the Dream with Mary Brock, has not publicly mentioned wanting to sell the team and has spoken about its future multiple times within the past year. Her spokesman confirmed she had no interest in selling the team.

She told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in September: “The focus that we have on diversity and inclusion and the importance of that within the Atlanta community makes the Atlanta Dream such a great community asset. Mary and I view our commitment to Atlanta in that regard, and we hope that others will increasingly see how important it is that we’re only one of 12 cities in the United States that has a WNBA team.”

Englebert said the league’s focus remains on the player-led social justice initiatives during the season, which begins July 25.

“I know some of (the players) have spoken out,” Englebert said. “But they want to focus on getting owners in who are otherwise supporting what they stand for.”

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