In recent weeks and months, dozens of professional and college sports teams have urged their fans to register and vote in the upcoming presidential election.
But on Wednesday, the reigning WNBA champions took it one step further. In an exceedingly rare move for a sports organization, the Seattle Storm urged fans to support Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the upcoming election, posting an endorsement of the Democratic ticket on its team-branded Twitter account.
“Join us in support of @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris,” the team wrote in a tweet, accompanied by a hyperlink for fans to register to vote. The message reflects the political beliefs of Seattle’s three co-owners: Lisa Brummel, Ginny Gilder and Dawn Trudeau. “We don’t typically endorse candidates,” Gilder wrote on Twitter, “but these are NOT typical times.” While sports team owners have long made financial contributions to political candidates, they have often done so quietly, or gone to great lengths to distinguish their political views as independent of their teams. The Storm, meanwhile, took the unusual stance of directly linking the two.
Gilder told The Seattle Times that she believes the team’s tweet in support of Biden and Harris is in line with its values as an organization. “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,” she told the newspaper. “I don’t think we caught anyone in our organization off guard.” Gilder added that she “hopes for a White House that NCAA champions and women’s pro sports champions can return to,” according to The Seattle Times.
Under President Trump, none of the past three WNBA champions have been invited to visit the White House, which has long been a tradition for championship sports teams. The Storm, who have won four WNBA titles, visited the White House in 2011 at the invitation of Barack Obama but were not invited by Trump after they won in 2018.