September 14, 2021 (New York, NY) — Today, Athlete Ally announced that WNBA team the Atlanta Dream will be honored at the Seventh Annual Athlete Ally Action Awards, with Dream player and Athlete Ally Ambassador Elizabeth Williams accepting the award on the team’s behalf. Athlete Ally is a nonprofit organization focused on fostering inclusive athletic environments and mobilizing the athletic community to champion LGBTQI+ equality. The awards ceremony, which will also commemorate Athlete Ally’s 10 year anniversary, will be shifting to a virtual format, taking place on October 26th at 7:30pm EST. Additional honorees include Olympic gold medalist and Athlete Ally Ambassador Quinn.
The Dream brought athlete activism vividly to life by speaking out against the police brutality that claimed the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Jacob Blake and countless others. They dedicated their 2020 season to #SayHerName to protest the lack of media coverage, justice and accountability for Black women murdered by police violence, including Taylor. When a previous team owner and U.S. Senator spoke out against Black Lives Matter and transgender inclusion, the team rallied their fans and community to support her opponent, Rev. Raphael Warnock, who went on to become the first Black senator in Georgia.
Dream player Elizabeth Williams led her team in responding to the former owner’s disparaging remarks about Black Lives Matter and in supporting Rev. Warnock. When she joined Athlete Ally as an Ambassador in March 2021, she said, “We dedicated this past year’s WNBA season to #SayHerName because Black women’s lives matter and deserve to be honored. That includes the lives of Black trans women, who are disproportionately attacked and discriminated against. Sports is the perfect place to see intersectional justice emerge, and it is a place for everyone. I hope to empathize and educate as an Athlete Ally Ambassador.”
“The Atlanta Dream has absolutely rewritten the definition of what athlete activism can and should look like,” said Athlete Ally. “The Dream has literally worn their politics on their shirts, and spoken out powerfully about the importance of #BlackLivesMatter, of Black women being honored and remembered, and of Black trans women being welcome and included in the sports they love. They mobilized fans and fellow athletes into meaningful action, helping to elect a progressive leader and ousting a divisive and harmful one. We are beyond honored to present this award to Athlete Ally Ambassador Elizabeth Williams, an incredible leader on and off the court, as a representative of the Dream.”
“I’m proud to be an Athlete Ally Ambassador and to accept an Action Award on behalf of my team, the Atlanta Dream,” said Elizabeth Williams. “As athletes, we have the power to lead others in championing racial justice and LGBTQI+ equality. We will keep up the fight for sport to be a place for everyone.”
To learn more or purchase tickets to the Awards, click here.
About Athlete Ally and the Action Awards
Athlete Ally believes sport will change the world when it welcomes and empowers all people. As a leading national nonprofit working at the intersection of sport and LGBTQ equality, Athlete Ally works to end the structural and systemic oppression that isolates, excludes and endangers LGBTQI+ people in sport. We educate individuals and institutions to understand obstacles to inclusion for LGBTQI+ people and how they can build an inclusive culture within their athletic communities. We work to ensure sport governing bodies, teams and leagues adopt policies that reflect the diversity of their constituents. We incubate athlete activism to advance LGBTQI+ equality in and through sport.
The Seventh Annual Athlete Ally Action awards are made possible due to generous support from the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Soccer, TransPerfect, Citi, Gatorade and the United States Tennis Association (USTA), in addition to individual supporters and other corporate support.