- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 25, 2020

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, Georgia Republican, decried as “shameful” the Saturday walkout by WNBA players during the national anthem in a protest over racial and social injustice.

“Shameful. This isn’t unifying Americans. It’s a political stunt that disrespects every man, woman & child who has given their life for this country,” tweeted Ms. Loeffler. “The WNBA has fully embraced the BLM political movement & turned its back on the American flag. That’s not sports—it’s politics.”

In the first game of the season, the players for the New York Liberty and Seattle Storm left the court and went back to their locker rooms at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, before making an announcement on the court.

“We are dedicating this season to Breonna Taylor, an outstanding EMT who was murdered over 130 days ago in her home,” said Liberty player Layshia Clarendon, standing beside the Storm’s Breanna Stewart.

During the walkout, the players wore T-shirts with the message “Black Lives Matter” on the front and “Say Her Name” on the back. “Black Lives Matter” was also painted on the court.



Ms. Clarendon said that the season would be also dedicated to the Say Her Name Campaign, which is “committed to saying the names and fighting for justice for Black women.”

“Black women who are so often forgotten in this fight for justice, who do not have people fighting in the streets for them,” Ms. Clarendon continued. “We will say her name: Sandra Bland, Atatiana Jefferson, Dominique Remy Fells, and Breonna Taylor. We will be a voice for the voiceless.”

The players observed a 26-second moment of silence for Breonna Taylor, who was 26 when she was shot and killed on March 13 by plainclothes police officers in a shoot-out with her boyfriend in her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky.

The senator previously clashed with the WNBA over its social-justice initiative, which includes the formation of a Social Justice Council that will work advisors such as Alicia Garza, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network.

Another co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, said in a 2015 interview that she and Ms. Garza are “trained Marxists.” Their organization has come under criticism on the right for its left-wing agenda, which includes seeking to defund the police and “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.”

“The mission of the Social Justice Council is to be a driving force of necessary and continuing conversations about race, voting rights, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and gun control amongst other important societal issues,” said the WNBA in a July 6 statement.

Some players called for Ms. Loeffler to sell her share in the team after she criticized the WNBA’s decision to promote a political agenda, while the WNBA noted that she has not been involved in day-to-day operations since being appointed to fill a Senate vacancy in 2019.

“There’s a huge difference between the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ and the BLM political organization,” Ms. Loeffler said in a July 11 tweet. “It’s a radical organization with a Marxist platform. And it must be called out.”

 

 

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