(Reuters) – A sale of the Atlanta Dream is close to being finalised, a deal that would end former Republican U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler’s contentious stint as co-owner of the team, the WNBA said on Wednesday.
Loeffler, a staunch supporter of former U.S. President Donald Trump, has faced months of activism from WNBA players who objected to her stance on social justice issues and called for her removal from the ownership team.
“As it relates to the Atlanta Dream, we understand a sale of the franchise is close to being finalized,” a WNBA spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters. “Once the sale negotiation is concluded, additional information will be provided.”
The Dream told Reuters in an email they did not have any comment on the pending sale of the team.
Loeffler came under fire last year when she sent a letter to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert in which she objected to the league’s decision to campaign for racial justice and the “Black Lives Matter” movement during the 2020 season.
Loeffler, who has co-owned the Atlanta franchise since 2011, told Engelbert “we need less – not more politics in sports,” and called Black Lives Matter “a very divisive organization based on Marxist principles.”
Following Loeffler’s comments, WNBA players began endorsing her opponent, in the U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia and wore “Vote Warnock” T-shirts to games last season in support of Democrat Raphael Warnock.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)