SEATTLE — In a move rarely seen by professional sports teams, the Seattle Storm voiced its support for the 2020 Democratic ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Wednesday.
The team’s official Twitter account posted a graphic of the Biden/Harris campaign logo along with its team logo accompanied by a short statement that read: “Join us in support of @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris.” The tweet also included a link for people to register to vote.
Team co-owners Dawn Trudeau and Ginny Gilder also offered their own statements supporting Biden and Harris on Twitter.
“We don’t typically endorse candidates, but these are NOT typical times,” Gilder wrote.
Added Trudeau: “Our country our world needs to show up and vote for a better future.”
The four-time champion Storm, fresh off a 2020 title run inside the WNBA’s bubble in Bradenton, Fla., is one of seven independently owned teams in the league. Gilder, Trudeau and Lisa Brummel comprise the team’s ownership group called Force 10 Sports.
Gilder said the group’s decision to come out in support of Biden and Harris was one representative of the team’s values. “There’s a certain value set that the Storm organization represents that we try to deliver on whenever the owners take a stand on anything,” Gilder said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I don’t think we caught anyone in our organization off guard.”
In endorsing Biden and Harris, Gilder said she hopes for a “return to civility,” along with a better handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and social justice needs. She also said she hopes for a White House that NCAA champions and women’s pro sports champions can return to.
Gilder said she wants to see a White House that’s vibrant and showcases what’s great about the country both individually and as a dream. “American democracy is in some ways a dream,” she said. “And without a dream, you have nothing to shoot for.”
While the move is a rarity for a professional sports team, the Storm — along with the WNBA — have for years been at the forefront of the sports world in pushing for social and political change.
“Any women’s professional sports league lives at the corner of business, sport and social change by virtue of the huge amount of sexism that exists in this country with respect to women and sport,” Gilder said. “The WNBA, powered by its players, is becoming more vocal because the leaders in the league and the owners believe our players’ voices should be amplified.”
In 2017, the Storm announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with Planned Parenthood, which included a rally outside of KeyArena and a donation of ticket sale revenue.
The WNBA, meanwhile, has been heavily involved in promoting social justice, highlighted by the league’s “Say her Name” campaign during the 2020 season, dedicated to Breonna Taylor, a Black women who was killed by Louisville police last March. WNBA players also became involved in Georgia’s senate race, urging people to vote against Atlanta Dream co-owner and Republican senator Kelly Loeffler after she had publicly spoke out against the league’s social justice efforts. Some players wore “Vote Warnock” T-shirts to promote Loeffler’s opposition, Raphael Warnock.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. Ballots in Washington can be returned via mail or drop box. The last day to register to vote is Monday.
©2020 The Seattle Times