Outside Reading — Speak Up and Dribble edition


Kelly Loeffler Just Lost Her WNBA Team to a Player She Refused to Meet by Dave Zirin

Of the many humiliations suffered by Kelly Loeffler in recent months — all of which, I’m sure, she sloughed off thanks to insulation of her moneyed privilege — few are more satisfying that her ownership of WNBA team the Atlanta Dream being effectively stripped away from as a result of her eager embrace of bigotry. That Renee Montgomery is now part of the team’s ownership group makes the comeuppance all the sweeter. Montgomery was a star point guard in the WNBA, finishing her playing career with the Dream. Before officially retiring, Montgomery opted to sit out the 2020 season, in part to dedicate herself to the Black Lives Matter movement Loeffler derided. “There’s work to be done off the court in so many areas in our community,” explained Montgomery at the time. “Social justice reform isn’t going to happen overnight, but I do feel that now is the time and moments equal momentum. Let’s keep it going!” As Dave Zirin recounts, writing for The Nation, Montgomery reached out to Loeffler to discuss concerns about how her former employer was reacting to the calls for social justice. Montgomery was rebuffed, and now Loeffler is forced to hand over the keys to franchise to the very player she ignored. Some of the most inspiring stories in sports happen off the field.

America Didn’t Need Sports After All by Jemele Hill

It’s also worth noting that we lend an outsized importance to sports in the U.S., which the modern robber barons who preside over the major leagues and teams are all too happy to exploit. Throughout the global pandemic that has caused untold pain in the U.S. — thanks largely to the hateful mulishness of one particular political party, don’t forget — there was a steady message that heaven and earth must be moved to put uniformed athletes back on their respective fields of play, all to heal the spirit of the nation. Jemele Hill runs the numbers and offers the sobering counterargument that there is little indication that viewers were desperate to sit rapt before sports broadcasts. Acknowledging that I, too, have plenty of gear that pays tribute to my favored teams, if we pass through to the other end of this public health crisis to find that reorganized priorities have caused sports to have less of a stranglehold on the culture, it will be a good thing. This article is published by The Atlantic.

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