Dream Co-Owner Kelly Loeffler Loses Georgia Senate Election to Raphael Warnock

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2021

FILE - In this Friday, March 20, 2020, file photo, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Georgia, waits to speak in a television interview on Capitol Hill in Washington. WNBA players have urged people to vote against Atlanta Dream co-owner Loeffler, a Republican U.S. senator running to keep her seat in Georgia. Loeffler, who spoke out publicly against the league’s social justice plans and sent a letter to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert objecting to the initiatives to honor the Black Lives Matter movement once the season began last month, is facing opposition from Raphael Warnock. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Susan Walsh/Associated Press

Kelly Loeffler, co-owner of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, is projected to lose her seat in the United States senate. 

Per Alex Rogers of CNN.com, Raphael Warnock is projected to win the race against Loeffler in the Georgia senate runoff vote. 

Georgia's two senate seats were up for grabs during Tuesday's runoff election after no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote during the general election on Nov. 3.

Loeffler was the incumbent senator in the race against Warnock. She was sworn in to the seat Jan. 6, 2020, after being appointed by Georgia governor Brian Kemp to replace Johnny Isakson, who resigned because of health reasons. 

Loeffler alienated members of the Dream over the summer when she criticized the WNBA's decision to have "Black Lives Matter" displayed on the court for games at IMG Academy during the 2020 season. 

Greg Bluestein and Bria Felicien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution obtained a letter written by Loeffler to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert. 

"The truth is, we need less—not more politics in sports," the letter read. "In a time when polarizing politics is as divisive as ever, sports has the power to be a unifying antidote. And now more than ever, we should be united in our goal to remove politics from sports."

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Loeffler's comments led to players for the Dream wearing T-shirts in support of Warnock during the season and through Tuesday's runoff. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tweeted that he wants to put together a group to buy Atlanta's WNBA franchise. 

There's no indication at this point if Loeffler, who owns the Dream with Mary Brock, will sell the franchise. Engelbert said in a July interview on CNN (h/t ESPN's Mechelle Voepel) the league did know of some potentially interested buyers but wouldn't force Loeffler to sell her stake in the organization. 

Loeffler has been a member of Atlanta's ownership group since 2010. She and Brock purchased the entire franchise from Kathy Betty in 2011.