It’s not like people aren’t aware of how awful Kelly Loeffler is. In addition to probably engaging in insider trading and trying to make a buck off Americans dying of COVID-19 (which both the GOP-controlled Senate and Bill Barr’s Justice Department declined to look into - quelle coincidence!), Loeffler has shown open hostility towards the Black Lives Matter movement, in which Black Americans have the temerity to remind people that they, too, are human beings worthy of not being killed in the streets. There’s no question that Loeffler has no business being in the United States Senate, but it’s not like we don’t know why she’s there. A not insignificant number of Georgia citizens like her brand of white supremacy.
But Loeffler is also a co-owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream. By now, it should be obvious that the WNBA players and coaches are the most progressive in sports, having been miles ahead of the rest of America when it comes to protesting for social and racial justice. After all, it was back in 2016 that the Minnesota Lynx took heat for, as a team, wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts and holding a press conference before a game to explain why they thought the movement was important.
Earlier this summer, after Loeffler said she “adamantly opposed” the Black Lives Matter movement, she drew the wrath of WNBA players, who told her on Twitter, in no uncertain terms, that she was not welcome in the league. Loeffler went on to say that she feared Black Lives Matter would make some Americans feel left out. “I think a lot of people feel that they may not have a place,” she told ESPN. “They may feel excluded from this sport and other sports that make them feel like American values aren’t at the core of what we’re doing here.”
After all, nothing is more American than valuing the feelings of white fans over Black lives. But I digress.
If you had any doubt that Loeffler is a full-fledged white supremacist, I submit Exhibit W in my ever-expanding “Kelly Loeffler is a huge racist” file.
On Thursday, Loeffler went on OANN with white supremacist conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec, whom you know from seeing his tweets get dunked on by all of Twitter, to complain that a “woke” mob is trying to “cancel her.”
Loeffler’s talking points are predictable and show zero understanding of either history or social justice. She burbles on about politics has no place in sports, social justice protests dividing America, her wanting sports to unite us. Yada yada yada. And given that Loeffler got away with insider trading and still has millions of dollars, a U.S. Senate seat, and an enormous platform from which to spout her ignorant nonsense, it’s disingenuous for her to argue that she’s been “canceled” in any way. In short, the interview plays all the hits OANN’s white, “no politics in sports” crowd wants to hear.
As equally disturbing as Loeffler’s dog-whistle platitudes though, is that the “reporter” conducting the interview, Jack Posobiec, is a known white supremacist with ties to other white supremacists, notably Richard Spencer. According to the Anti-Defamation League, Posobiec:
“Has enthusiastically promoted a range of lies, including the Pizzagate hoax, and attempted to discredit anti-Trump activists by planting an inflammatory ‘Rape Melania’ sign at a protest event. He frequently tweets anti-Muslim sentiments, and has harassed former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin with anti-Muslim slurs online and in person, tweeting, ‘I screamed ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ at Huma Abedin.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center did an entire story on Posobiec’s ties to the white supremacy movement, finding that he “collaborated for years with white supremacists, neo-fascists and antisemites,” including using “Twitter to target Jewish journalists with antisemitic hate.”
How is it that a sitting US Senator and professional team owner can sit down for an interview with someone like Posobiec and America (and the sports league in which she is an owner) shrugs?
Back in 2014, Donald Sterling was forcibly removed from owning the L.A.Clippers because he was caught on tape using racial slurs, and rightly so. In the same vein, Loeffler’s racism should disqualify her from WNBA ownership. She may be more careful than Sterling in what she says (at least in public), and she may couch her language with “stick to sports” dog whistles, but Kelly Loeffler, in refusing to acknowledge the racism that made the Black Lives Matter movement necessary in the first place, is just as racist as Sterling and, as a sitting U.S. Senator, substantially more dangerous.
In a time when many white Americans are waking up to the white supremacy this country was founded on, we can’t continue to “cancel” only those who are blatantly vulgar in their racism. We have to be able to recognize racism couched as conservatism and a desire for “unity,” as well.
It’s clear that the WNBA players don’t want Loeffler involved in the league. WNBA fans don’t want her “Karen” brand of racism around, either. For the first time, it feels like the league has gotten traction with sports fans, who are watching games in record numbers. Now is the time for the WNBA to force Kelly Loeffler to sell her interest in the Dream. There is no place in a league that has always been on the right side of social justice for Loeffler’s Barbie-fied white supremacy.
And it would be great if Georgia threw her out of Congress, too.