The idea of WNBA players owning their own teams started as just a tweet from LeBron James back in January. That idea is now a reality thanks to former WNBA player Renee Montgomery and her new ownership group.
According to ESPN, Montgomery made history last week after forming a three-member investor group — which includes Northland Investment Corp. president Suzanne Abair — that has been approved to purchase the Atlanta Dream from republican and former Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
Montgomery is now the first former player to become both an owner and executive of a WNBA franchise team. She, alongside Abair, will play an active role in the leadership of the team.
She broke the news on Twitter via a video she tweeted out.
Blessings 🙏🏾 Moments really do equal Momentum. I’m so excited so can y’all start showing yalls support by hitting that follow button ➡️ @AtlantaDream #DreamPursuer 💭#momentsequalmomentum ✨ pic.twitter.com/D3cgEtZGzt
— Renee Montgomery (@ReneeMontgomery) February 26, 2021
NBA star James congratulated Montgomery on Twitter, tweeting: “So proud of this Queen. This is everything we are about! #Morethananathlete @morethanavote.”
Montomgery told ESPN that she first contemplated the idea of an ownership group after James’ public statement to spearhead the supergroup.
Think I’m gone put together an ownership group for the The Dream. Whose in? #BlackVotesMatter✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/9wclgdED2w
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 6, 2021
“That tweet actually prompted my mind,” Montgomery said to AJC. “And just a little backstory, in October I kind of started to figure out if this could be a real possibility, and then when I did see that tweet, knowing the connection that I had with More Than a Vote and just their connection to the league and to the WNBA, I just reached out to them, and I was like, hey, you know, if you guys are serious, I’m interested, as well. If you could like point me in the right direction or if you could help me get to the next step, and the next step was (WNBA commissioner) Cathy (Engelbert). They helped me get there, and I spoke with Cathy and I told her I understand that this would mean that I’m no longer a player, but I’m very passionate about it and I would love to be able to be in that conversation.”
In a statement shared with TMZ Sports, Montgomery also said, “My dream has come true. Breaking barriers for minorities and women by being the first former WNBA player to have both a stake in ownership and a leadership role with the ownership team is an opportunity that I take very seriously. I invite you to join me as the Dream builds momentum in Atlanta!”
News of the new ownership change arrives following pressure on former Sen. Loeffler to sell her share of the Dream.
Loeffler caused major controversy last year after expressing her distaste for the Black Lives Matter movement and protests against police brutality.
Her derogatory comments received heavy backlash from WNBA players and others who ultimately encouraged her to sell her share of the team through an amplified campaign.
Montgomery set out to be the change she wanted to see in women’s sports and all the while made history in the process.