Atlanta Dream co-owner and Georgia Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler is no stranger to doing things that many will say are racist.
Now, it’s been reported by Salon that Loeffler ran a Facebook ad where she darkened the skin of her Black Democratic opponent for the Georgia senate race, the Rev. Raphael Warnock. In an ad that ran last week, the Loeffler campaign spent nearly an extra $40,000 to increase impressions of the ad showing Warnock with darkened skin, which accuses him of being “dangerous” and “radical.”
For anyone unfamiliar, the darkening of a Black man’s skin is a longtime racist trick used by individuals to promote fear of darker-skinned men. The tactic enforces ignorant and negligent stereotypes that Black men are threatening and out to harm you. This method has been used to criminalize black people and strip them of their humanity.
Loeffler’s campaign team likely knew the effects of these heinous tactics and paid extra money to try to scare their base into voting. It’s a despicable act but certainly not one out of Loeffler’s character.
In July, she said she adamantly opposed the Black Lives Matter political movement and said that acts supporting it were “totally misaligned with the values and goals of the WNBA and the Atlanta Dream.” Loeffler made these comments even though many of the players that help make her money were fearlessly using their platform to call out the injustices against Black people in this country in wake of the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. One of the players leading the charge is Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery.
It’s no surprise that the players bucked against her. A league that has always been one of the leading sports organizations in advocating for justice couldn’t stand by and let an owner spew this rhetoric. The WNBA Players Association called for Loeffler to be removed from ownership of her Atlanta franchise.
Since then, players — including members of the Dream — have advocated for Warnock to help flip the Senate in a pivotal Georgia Senate race. Players wore shirts, went to protests, and took to social media to persuade voters to vote for him.
If both Senate seats in Georgia are won by Democrats it would give the Democrats control of the House, Senate, and White House making Bills easier to pass without Republicans having blocking power. Millions have already voted early in the state but voting ends on Tuesday.
This latest stunt by Loeffler shows that her leadership style is not acceptable for a position that carries as much weight as this. If she can’t understand at best or blatantly ignore at worst, the dangers of using tactics such as darkening skin, then she won’t be able to make adequate laws for a country that is continuing to look browner and browner every day.
Georgia please do us all a favor and send Loeffler to the crib, and hopefully, the WNBA can follow suit soon.
This is bigger than sports and politics, this about creating a more decent society.