Elizabeth Williams, an Atlanta dream center, posted a photo of herself wearing the black t-shirt with bold white text in a tweet, citing the late civil rights icon and longtime representative of the Georgia John Lewis and encouraging others to support Raphael Warnock, a Democrat running for the Loeffler seat.
“We are @wnba players, but like the late John Lewis said, we are also ordinary people with extraordinary vision,” said Williams wrote
. “@ReverendWarnock has spent his life fighting for the people and we need him in Washington. Join the movement for a better Georgia at http://Warnockforgeorgia.com”
In a statement Tuesday, Loeffler criticized the WNBA for participating in what it called “the cancellation culture,” highlighting its earlier opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement.
“This is just further proof that the culture of out of control cancellation wants to exclude anyone who doesn’t agree with it,” she said. “Clearly the league is more concerned with politics than basketball.”
The move is not the first sign of tension between the senator and the league, nor Loeffler and the dream.
The organization distanced itself from Loeffler last month after his objection to the WNBA’s plans to honor the Black Lives Matter movement. Days later, the Dream players jointly signed a statement supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, which they claim is a “declaration of humanity” rather than a political position.
Loeffler has come under scrutiny in part because of a letter she wrote, obtained by CNN and first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and ESPN, which warned the WNBA that ” subscribing to a particular political agenda undermines the potential of sport and sends a message of exclusion. “Its donors have since responded, with Sony saying it is reassessing its support for its campaign and Target saying it disagrees with her.
Players from other teams also wore the “Vote Warnock” jerseys. The Phoenix Mercury, which faced the Dream on Tuesday, posted photos and videos
on the Twitter account of the team that showed players during the pre-game
wearing the same Warnock shirts, as well as Black Lives Matter shirts.
“Don’t boo … VOTE”, the Chicago Sky tweeted
above are photos of several team players wearing Warnock shirts, with a link to register to vote.
Warnock said in a statement Tuesday that he was “proud to stand by” the players, underlining “their courage and determination” while accusing Loeffler of muzzling those who seek justice.
“Senator Loeffler and those like her who seek to silence and fire others when standing up for justice has planted themselves on the wrong side of history,” added Warnock. “We are in a time of generational and transformative change, and there is no room in this movement for fanaticism.”
CNN’s Jill Martin, Alex Rogers, Allison Gordon and Dan Merica contributed to this report.