ATLANTA (AP) — Real estate investor Larry Gottesdiener has been approved as the lead owner of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream following pressure on former Sen. Kelly Loeffler to sell her share of the team.
The vote was unanimous.
"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 in a press release. “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.”
Co-owner Mary Brock also sold her share of the club, which will remain in Atlanta. The three-member investor group includes former Dream guard Renee Montgomery and Suzanne Abair, president of Gottesdiener's firm.
“It is a privilege to join a team of inspiring women who strive for excellence on the court and equity off the court,” said Larry Gottesdiener in a news release. “I would like to express my gratitude to Commissioner Engelbert, Commissioner Silver, and the WNBA and NBA Boards of Governors for the opportunity.”
Players around the league have called for Loeffler to sell her 49% stake in the Dream after writing a letter to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert over the summer objecting to the league's initiatives to advocate for racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to The Associated Press, Montgomery, who sat out last season to focus on social justice reform, is the first former player to become both an owner and executive of a WNBA team.