Vivlamore reported Tuesday co-owners Kelly Loeffler and Mary Brock "are on the verge" of giving up their stake in the franchise. A WNBA spokesperson confirmed the development: "As it relates to the Atlanta Dream, we understand a sale of the franchise is close to being finalized. Once the sale negotiation is concluded, additional information will be provided."
Calls for Loeffler to at least divest herself from her ownership stake grew over the summer.
In July, she wrote a letter to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert criticizing the league's decision to publicly support the Black Lives Matter movement, per ESPN:
"I adamantly oppose the Black Lives Matter political movement, which has advocated for the defunding of police, called for the removal of Jesus from churches and the disruption of the nuclear family structure, harbored anti-Semitic views, and promoted violence and destruction across the country. I believe it is totally misaligned with the values and goals of the WNBA and the Atlanta Dream, where we support tolerance and inclusion."
The previous month, Loeffler equated the ongoing nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism to "mob rule":
The WNBA responded with a statement saying Loeffler "has not served as a Governor of the Atlanta Dream since October 2019 and is no longer involved in the day-to-day business of the team." Still, she's officially recognized as one half of Dream Too LLC, the group that collectively owns the Dream.
The ire toward Loeffler grew beyond just calls to remove her as a co-owner.
WNBA players publicly endorsed Raphael Warnock, who was among the candidates running against Loeffler for one of Georgia's two U.S. Senate seats, ahead of November's general election. The players regularly wore black shirts that read "Vote Warnock" before and after games during the 2020 season.
Elizabeth Williams @E_Williams_1
We are @wnba players, but like the late, great John Lewis said, we are also ordinary people with extraordinary vision. @ReverendWarnock has spent his life fighting for the people and we need him in Washington. Join the movement for a better Georgia at https://t.co/hC8iF9urak https://t.co/mvN5e9m4oO
The visibility Warnock gained from the movement played a not insignificant role in him forcing a runoff against Loeffler and eventually beating her in a head-to-head race.
As it became clear Loeffler would lose her Senate seat, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James said he'd be interested in leading a group to buy the Dream:
Per Vivlamore, the identity of the person or people who submitted a bid for the Dream is unknown, and it's unclear at this point whether new ownership is looking to keep the franchise in Atlanta.