Angel McCoughtry: Atlanta Dream’s Kelly Loeffler playing the political game

Photo Credit: Steve Freeman/NBAE/Getty Images

As a former member of the Atlanta Dream, Angel McCoughtry knows all about Kelly Loeffler – one of the team’s co-owners and current controversial United States Senator from Georgia.

Loeffler has been much maligned for comments she has made in recent weeks regarding open carry by Black Americans and her disagreement with the WNBA using its platform to spread the Black Lives Matter message as the regular season tips off in a few days.

With this, the calls for Loeffler’s ouster as a WNBA owner have only grown louder in recent weeks. McCoughtry, who tweeted her support of her in early April, believes Loeffler is playing the political game – and that she has not represented “what the Dream logo stands for” in a call with reporters.

If she really did have (problems) with LGBTQ or Black Lives Matter, I don’t think she would have had us players in her home. Why do you own a WNBA team?

–Angel McCoughtry, Las Vegas Aces

I think she has to play the political game to look good in front of her peers.

–Angel McCoughtry, Las Vegas Aces

McCoughtry may be onto something. Given her days with the Dream, she knows all about life in the ATL – which includes the craziness that is the Georgia political landscape.

Loeffler was appointed to the Georgia senate seat by Governor Brian Kemp after the previous occupant of that seat, Johnny Isakson, stepped down due to health reasons. Detractors of the announcement felt that Doug Collins, a bigger defender of the president* and representative of Georgia’s ninth congressional district (northeastern part of the state, hometown of Gainesville, portions of Athens) should have got Kemp’s thumbs up instead.

Loeffler has been a major donor to Republican politicians in the past – including to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. She was also seen within Georgia political circles as someone who may improve the GOP’s chances with suburban voters – which have leaned Democratic in previous years. Instead, she has attempted to be seen as a “real conservative” running for re-election against someone as hard-right as Collins.

Polls have shown Loeffler trailing Collins in Georgia’s “jungle primary” to replace Isakson. The top Democrat running in that race appears to be Reverend Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Collins has attempted to use her WNBA connections (which include Stacey Abrams’ work with the Dream) to paint Loeffler as less than conservative.

Loeffler was also under criticism after reports surfaced that she engaged in stock deals amid the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in an interview with CNN that the league would not force Loeffler to sell her stake in the Dream.

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