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Atlanta Dream players in statement: ‘Black lives matter. Vote in November.’

ajc.com

Atlanta Dream players signed and shared a statement Friday following an open letter written by U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who also co-owns the team, objecting to the WNBA honoring and participating in the Black Lives Matter movement during the upcoming season.

The statement read: “Black lives matter. We are the women of the Atlanta Dream. We are women who support a movement. We are strong and we are fearless. We offer a voice to the voiceless. Our team is united in the Movement for Black Lives. It’s not extreme to demand change after centuries of inequality. This is not a political statement. This is a statement of humanity.”

The statement was also shared on the Dream’s main social channels.

Many high-profile WNBA players have spoken out about Loeffler's role in the league following her recent comments about "mob rule," but this is the first statement from a member of the Dream since Loeffler was appointed late last year. Each Atlanta player shared the statement and added, "We've read the letter. We reject the letter. Black lives matter. Vote in November."

Loeffler is on the ballot in November and her top Republican rival accused her of picking a fight with the WNBA as a "desperate attempt to find relevancy" as she tries to sell the basketball franchise she's co-owned since 2011.

The players’ statement was released at 6:05 p.m. to honor the life of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in her home in Louisville by police. The Dream, and other WNBA teams, began training camp for its upcoming 22-game season in Bradenton, Fla. on Friday. Ahead of the season, the league announced a new Social Justice Council, which is expected to be a “driving force of necessary and continuing conversations about race, voting rights, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and gun control amongst other important societal issues.”

Greg Bluestein contributed to this report