Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler loses U.S. Senate runoff race to Raphael Warnock

Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler, a Republican, has misplaced her U.S. Senate runoff race in Georgia to Raphael Warnock, a Democratic candidate who was strongly endorsed by the WNBA’s gamers.

The particular election was known as early Wednesday morning by ABC Information and The Related Press with Warnock receiving over 46,000 extra votes than Loeffler.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James despatched a Tweet in support of the WNBA franchise early Wednesday morning saying, “Suppose I am gone put collectively an possession group for The Dream. Whose in? #BlackVotesMatter.”

Loeffler has not indicated she intends to promote her share of the Dream, which she co-owns with Mary Brock. However the WNBA gamers’ help of her political opponent was one of many main tales of this previous season. WNBA gamers wore “Vote Warnock” shirts this summer season within the bubble in Bradenton, Florida, and have been credited with elevating Warnock’s profile.

Warnock was polling at 9 % in August when he bought the WNBA’s endorsement. Loeffler was then polling at 26 %.

One major focus of the league was help for the Black Lives Matter motion. Loeffler despatched a letter to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert on July 7 that criticized the league’s help of the motion. Loeffler mentioned her opposition was particularly to the political beliefs of the BLM group.

“The assertion ‘Black lives matter’ could be very totally different than the group Black Lives Matter,” Loeffler said in a July interview with ESPN. “I feel all of us agree the life of each African American is essential.”

However the WNBA gamers felt that Loeffler’s viewpoint and different statements she made have been the antithesis of what the league stood for relating to each Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ rights. After the race was known as for Warnock early Wednesday morning, WNBA gamers responded on social media, together with crediting Georgia Democratic political chief Stacey Abrams.

“Shout out to the native organizers in Georgia who made this occur!!!” New York Liberty guard Layshia Clarendon said in a Tweet. “We all know and love Stacey Abrams and she or he’s the primary to offer credit score to the opposite peeps who’ve additionally completed the tireless work.”

Loeffler bought her U.S. Senate seat in January 2020 when she was appointed by Georgia governor Brian Kemp to interchange Johnny Isakson, who for well being causes stepped apart. Loeffler and Warnock then ran towards one another in November’s election, however neither candidate bought greater than 50 % of the vote. That prompted Tuesday’s runoff election; there was additionally a runoff between candidates David Perdue and Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s different U.S. Senate race.

Loeffler grew to become co-owner of the Dream in 2011, however she isn’t concerned within the each day operations of the staff and stepped down from her seat on the WNBA board of governors in October 2019.

James additionally addressed the Georgia vote after the Lakers’ 94-92 victory over the Grizzlies on Tuesday.

“I am happy with my individuals for getting on the market and doing what they do greatest,” James mentioned, “and that is being heard and being seen and being highly effective and being engaged.”

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