Former Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery made history when her three-member investor group was approved to purchase the WNBA Atlanta Dream team.
Montgomery is now the first former player to become both an owner and executive of a WNBA franchise.
Montgomery’s investor team includes Suzanne Abair, president of Northland Investment Corp. in Massachusetts and real estate investor Larry Gottesdiener, who was approved as majority owner of the team.
The team was previously part-owned by Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who faced pressure from WNBA players to step away over her opposition to the league’s racial justice initiatives.
Loeffler bought in 2010 alongside Mary Brock. Loeffler, a staunch Trump supporter, faced backlash when she publicly condemned the WNBA’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement in an open letter.
“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,” said Loeffler. “And now more than ever, we should be united in our goal to remove politics from sports.”
Mongomery understands the significance of her new purchase.
“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 team is an opportunity that I take very seriously,” Montgomery said.
Last year, Montgomery sat out the 2020 season to focus on social justice issues. She recently announced her retirement from the league after 11 seasons and two WNBA championships.
“I think it’s great that Renee has stepped up after she retired from playing the game to continue having an impact on the game,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. “I’ve seen her strong work ethic. I’ve seen her advocacy and knowledge of the game and I’m sure that’s going to be an asset to Larry and Suzanne and a huge benefit to the team.”