Dream's Renee Montgomery to Miss 2020 WNBA Season for Social Justice Reform Work

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2020

Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery (21) cases the ball in the first half of a WNBA basketball game against the Chicago Sky Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery announced Thursday she will sit out the 2020 WNBA season to focus on social justice work off the court.

Dream head coach Nicki Collen issued a statement on Montgomery's decision:

"While I am saddened Renee will not be in a Dream uniform this summer, I am incredibly proud of her passion for her foundation, her outreach in the community and her chance to impact the Black Lives Matter movement with her platform as a WNBA athlete. As a coach in this league I understand that I can't just say we are 'bigger than ball' but rather I must embody it."

Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore told the New York Times' Kurt Streeter in January she would be skipping her second straight season to focus on getting Jonathan Irons released from prison.

A judge overturned Irons' convictions for burglary and assault in March.

The Hartford Courant's Alexa Philippou wrote last week that Montgomery had been handing out water bottles at Black Lives Matter protests in Atlanta. The 2011 All-Star also set up a GoFundMe to raise money for water and other supplies.

"A lot of people are craving sports and craving something to get away from reality, to just be able to go watch a game and get away from it," Montgomery said. "I'm craving the opposite. I'm craving being a part of the movement and seeing the change."

The WNBA's 2020 season has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The league announced Monday it was planning to stage a 22-game regular season and traditional postseason at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.