Senate

Loeffler doubles down against BLM, calls movement ‘anti-Semitic’ amid continued WNBA blowback

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) doubled down on her stance against Black Lives Matter on Wednesday night, saying that the movement — which was regalvanized nationwide following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd at the end of May — is antithetical to American principles.

“[Black Lives Matter] is a very divisive organization based on marxist principles,” Loeffler, who faces a tough special election battle in November, told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham. “This is an organization that seeks to destroy the American principles and I had to draw the line.”

Loeffler also called the Black Lives Matter group “anti-Semitic” and claimed that the group is against the “nuclear family.”

The anti-Semitic accusation comes after Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson made an anti-Semitic post on Instagram Tuesday night.

Former NBA player Stephen Jackson, who was close friends with Floyd and has been an outspoken figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, initially defended Jackson’s post, saying in a now-deleted video, “You know he don’t hate nobody, but he’s speaking the truth of the facts that he knows and trying to educate others.”

Jackson walked his comments back Wednesday night after receiving major backlash.

“As I first stated when I got on here, I could’ve changed my words,” Jackson told CNN. “But there’s nothing that said that I support any of that. There’s nothing that I said that I hate anybody.”

The freshman senator has been at odds with the movement since last week, when she wrote WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert saying that the league should not go forward with a plan to have players wear warmups emblazoned with the phrases “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name.”

Loeffler has co-owned the Atlanta Dream, a WNBA’s franchise, since 2011.

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

She proposed in her letter that players wear the American flag instead.

Her comments drew immediate ire from the league. The WNBA Players Association tweeted “E-N-O-U-G-H! O-U-T!” and Engelbert in a statement said, “The WNBA is based on the principle of equal and fair treatment of all people and we, along with the teams and players, will continue to use our platforms to vigorously advocate for social justice.”

On Tuesday Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud chided Loeffler for her comments.

“For her to come out and say we’re divisive and that Black Lives Matter’s movement is a divisive organization, I call BS on that,” Cloud told CNN’s Don Lemon. “[The Atlanta Dream] in itself, their starting five is all black females … To be a partial owner in that and cheer on the sidelines and support your players, but you don’t support them when they take those uniforms off, it’s a problem.”

Loeffler responded to Cloud’s comments during her interview with Ingraham, saying that “[t]here’s no room in this country for racism, but this isn’t what the Black Lives Matter political organization is about.”

Also during the interview, Loeffler said she would not give up her ownership stake in the WNBA team, despite increased calls for her to do so.

Players Breanna Stewart and Sydney Colson both tweeted for Loeffler to cut ties with the league.

All of this comes as Loeffler attempts to gain the upper hand in an election that will pit her not only against multiple Democratic candidates, but also fellow Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins.

Loeffler was appointed to her seat in December by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) to replace former Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who resigned from the Senate for health reasons. Loeffler and Collins are facing off in a special election this fall to determine who will win the seat.

President Trump had recommended to Kemp late last year that he appoint Collins to fill the Senate seat, but the governor chose Loeffler instead, emphasizing her business credentials and outsider status as reasons for her appointment. 

Tags 2020 Georgia elections Atlanta Black Lives Matter Cathy Engelbert Desean Jackson Don Lemon Donald Trump Doug Collins George Floyd George Floyd killing Georgia Johnny Isakson Kelly Loeffler Stephen Jackson WNBA WNBA

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