Kelly Loeffler, an obscenely wealthy Republican senator and co-owner of WNBA team Atlanta Dream, claims she has been canceled for saying that Black Lives Matter is a Marxist plot aiming to destroy the nuclear family.
On Wednesday, Loeffler tweeted a link to a New York Post article which aggregated a Breitbart report about Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matter Global Network’s co-founder and strategic advisor. The report claims that Cullers once referred to herself as a Marxist.
“I’ve been canceled for calling the BLM political organization what it is: A Marxist group,” Loeffler said.
Loeffler read this deeply uninteresting factoid about Cullers as a gotcha moment, a chance at redemption after receiving heat following an interview in which she called the WNBA’s support of the Black Lives Matter movement divisive.
“I think a lot of people feel that they may not have a place,” Loeffler told ESPN Tuesday. “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.”
She added that there is a difference between the BLM sentiment and the BLM organization
“I think we all agree the life of every African American is important,” Loeffler said. “There’s no room for racism in this country, and we have to root it out where it exists.”
Loeffler continued: “The Black Lives Matter political organization advocates things like defunding and abolishing the police, abolishing our military, emptying our prisons, destroying the nuclear family. It promotes violence and antisemitism. To me, this is not what our league stands for.”
Despite the existence of Black Lives Matter Global Network, the Black Lives Matter movement is notoriously decentralized and does not have a singular platform. This can lead to confusion: for example, a statement from a local Black Lives Matter chapter or the actions of a miscellaneous Black Lives Matter supporter being attributed to the entire movement or the official organization.
But Loeffler’s description of the organization was insincere and alarmist. The charge of antisemitism is preposterous and concern about the organization’s alleged disdain of the nuclear family is a clear right-wing dog whistle. And just as preposterous was her attempt to defang BLM supporters, reducing them to people who to simply believe “the life of every African American is important” as opposed to activists agitating for causes like the reallocation of police funding.
In early July reports surfaced describing the WNBA plans to display the phrase “Black Lives Matter” on its basketball courts. (Additionally, players plan to wear warm-up jerseys with “Black Lives Matter” on the front and “Say Her Name” on the back) In response, Loeffler, who has been a co-owner of the Atlanta Dream since 2011, wrote a letter to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert, slamming the BLM movement—she did not bother specifying the Black Lives Matter Global Network—and requesting that players jerseys include an American flag emblem instead. This prompted outrage from current and former Atlanta Dream players and other WNBA athletes who want Loeffler to sell the team.
Loeffler appears to relish the fact that her conservative, Trumpian values counter that of her team and the WNBA, a majority-black league.
“They can’t push me out for my views,” Loeffler said. “I intend to own the team. I am not going.”
Maybe the Blue Lives Matter brigade buys Loeffler’s Joan of Arc act, but no one else should. She’s not a victim, she’s just being criticized, and rightly so.