The backlash against Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler is growing, with many WNBA players wearing "Vote Warnock" shirts ahead of their games on Tuesday night. The shirts refer to Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock, who is running against Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler in the 2020 special Senate election.
Loeffler, a Republican, currently holds a seat in the U.S. Senate representing Georgia. She has come under fire for calling on WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelber toin which players wore warm-up jerseys and shirts supporting the movement.
Many players, along with with WNBA Players Association, have called on Loeffler to step down from her position as Atlanta Dream co-owner.
Loeffler issued a statement reiterating her stance against players wearing apparel supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. "This is just more proof that the out of control cancel culture wants to shut out anyone who disagrees with them," Loeffler said. "It's clear that the league is more concerned with playing politics than basketball."
Players have received support from many fans, including Stacey Abrams, who endorsed Warnock in January.
According to New York Times reporter Sopan Deb, Abrams was consulted on the shirt idea supporting Warnock. Abrams serves in an advisory position to the WNBA Players Association's board.
Loeffler was appointed to the Senate by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp following the resignation of Senator Johnny Isakson. The special election will be held November 3, the same day as the regular Senate election in Georgia. There will be no primaries for Loeffler's seat, and as a result, 21 people will be on the ballot, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. If no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote on November 3, the top two vote-getters will move on to a runoff election, scheduled for January.
In addition to Warnock, Loeffler will be running against Republican Representative Doug Collins, and Democrat Matt Lieberman, the son of former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman.