Renee Montgomery purchased the share of Atlanta Dream owned by former senator Kelly Loeffler.
The WNBA has always been one of the more progressive professional sports leagues in America. 67 percent of the league is comprised by black women and has been a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community. The league sees another “first” as a three-member group that includes former Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery bought the franchise.
The group members include Montgomery, Larry Gottesdiener, Chairman of Northland, a national real estate firm and Suzanne Abair, President and CEO of Northland.
“With the unanimous WNBA and NBA votes, today marks a new beginning for the Atlanta Dream organization, and we are very pleased to welcome Larry Gottesdiener and Suzanne Abair to the WNBA,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “I admire their passion for women’s basketball, but more importantly, have been impressed with their values. I am also thrilled that former WNBA star Renee Montgomery will be joining the ownership group as an investor and executive for the team. Renee is a trailblazer who has made a major impact both in the game and beyond.”
Reasons Kelly Loeffler sold her share of the Atlanta Dream
Former Georgia senator Kelly Loeffler was pressured to sell her share of the franchise after her staunch opposition to the WNBA’s racial justice initiatives and the Dream’s plans to wear ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Say Her Name’ warm-ups before games last season.
After her controversial opinions, Loeffler faced backlash. There was growing sentiment Loeffler should sell her share of the team. One of the loudest voices in opposition to Loeffler’s stance was the former Dream point guard, as well as Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
Before the league decided to take any action, the players chose to support Loeffler’s opponent in the Georgia Senate race, Reverend Raphael Warnock.
Warnock would defeat Loeffler in the election.
Montgomery, who opted out of the 2020 season to focus on social justice reform, becomes the first former player to both own and become an executive of a WNBA franchise. Montgomery joins Shelia Johnson as the only other woman to hold ownership in a major sports franchise. Johnson owns shares in the Washington Mystics, Wizards and Capitals.