Can a sports league kick out an owner based on political views? The answer is probably not as Major League Baseball could only suspend Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott in 1996 for two years after she praised Adolf Hitler’s domestic policies. Schott sold the Reds business in 1999. The Women’s National Basketball Association has a problem although it is not on the scale of Marge Schott with one of its governors. Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler is a co-owner of the Atlanta Dream and is in a tough race to keep her seat. Loeffler, whose stock trading drew raised eyebrows from the United States Department of Justice and the United States Senate Ethics Committee although both bodies cleared her of wrong doing, is the first professional sports owner who publicly is disagreeing with leagues supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. Loeffler put out the usual political rambling statement that works well in the political theater but not in sports. She basically said shut up and play and that athletes should be seen and not heard.
WNBA players have not taken kindly to Senator Loeffler’s letter to the WNBA Commissioner Cathy Englebert and want her removed as the co-owner of the Atlanta Dream. Loeffler has a partial solution. Put an American flag on the jersey of every WNBA players’ uniform. The WNBA doesn’t seem too impressed with Loeffler’s thoughts and put out a statement that seemingly distanced the league from the Atlanta Dream’s co-owner. “The WNBA is based on the principle of equal and fair treatment of all people and we, along with the teams and players, will continue to use our platforms to vigorously advocate for social justice. Senator Kelly Loeffler has not served as a Governor of the Atlanta Dream since October 2019 and is no longer involved in the day-to-day business of the team.” Loeffler seems unwelcomed in the WNBA.