WNBA Players Rallied For Raphael Warnock, and Now They're Celebrating His Projected Win
With 98 percent of votes in, Rev. Raphael Warnock is the projected winner in a hotly contested Senate runoff in Georgia against Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler. It's a race that saw major Democratic support for Warnock, including endorsements from Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, and Stacey Abrams, and a huge influx of fundraising money, with his campaign bringing in $13 million between July and September. Contributing their own voices of support: a wave of WNBA players, fueled by reasons both societal and personal.
In August, the WNBA was midway through a season dedicated to social justice, with players wearing Black Lives Matter and #SayHerName shirts, taking every opportunity to further the conversation around racial injustice — something they've been doing for years. But Loeffler, a co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, had publicly opposed these moves. "The truth is, we need less — not more politics in sports," she wrote in a letter to the WNBA commissioner. Loeffler added that supporting a "particular political agenda undermines the potential of the sport and sends a message of exclusion."
Instead of continuing to speak about Loeffler's comments — thus giving her more publicity — players took a stand for Warnock, her opponent. "Rev. Warnock is somebody who supports everything that we support and just happens to be running in that seat," Dream forward Elizabeth Williams told ESPN at the time. "It just worked out really well." Players took their support into the arena, where many wore "Vote Warnock" shirts to show their support. "We definitely decided to wear it because he's for Black Lives Matter," Dream guard Chennedy Carter said. "He supports the league and the movement, and we support him. We're voting for Warnock."
Now, their candidate is claiming victory and WNBA players and fans are celebrating. "Winning is cool, but have you ever flipped the senate??? . . . We are on the right side of history!!" tweeted Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart. LeBron James's response to the activism? "Think I'm gone put together an ownership group for the The Dream," he tweeted. "Whose in?"
Keep reading for more messages of support and celebration ahead.