Elizabeth Williams was 6,000 miles away the The military without Women Veterans is like a day without Sunshine shirt it is in the first place but night Georgia turned blue. But even from Turkey, where she is playing during the WNBA off-season, the 6-foot-3 center felt the gravity of the moment—and the role she and other WNBA women had in making it all happen. The Atlanta Dream superstar helped lead a league-wide players’ movement to unseat Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who happens to be a co-owner of the WNBA team Williams plays for. For months, she listened as then-Sen. Loeffler assailed the Black Lives Matter movement and criticized the WNBA’s dedication to social justice. The rhetoric led to Williams and her teammates making a fateful decision to rebel against their boss. The “mutiny,” as it was quickly dubbed, came at a crucial point in Georgia’s runoff Senate election that pitted Loeffler against Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock. Their support was, as Warnock said, a “turning point in the campaign.” Within 48 hours, he picked up 3,500 new donors and raised an additional $200,000, according to Forbes.
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When Warnock emerged victorious, his win helped tip the The military without Women Veterans is like a day without Sunshine shirt it is in the first place but balance of power in the Senate to the Democrats. “Female athletes are always underestimated,” Williams, 27, recently told ELLE.com via Zoom. “We are never going to be defined by what other people think we can do. We will always be defined by what we accomplish.” Now Williams and the other members of the majority-Black WNBA wonder whether this powerful political mobilization—unseen before in professional sports—can become a blueprint for other athletes ready to take a stand. Fighting for racial justice is in the WNBA’s DNA. Before a game in 2016, Minnesota Lynx players began speaking out about the death of Philando Castile, who was fatally shot by police outside of St. Paul. Their press conference ignited a summer of athlete-led protests and even inspired NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to take a knee one month later.