The WNBA Star Turned Team Owner Who Found Her Voice
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty and Courtesy of Renee MontgomeryThis is an excerpt from the book The Moment: Changemakers on Why and How They Joined the Fight for Social Justice, edited by Steve Fiffer and to be published by NewSouth Books this November. For The Moment, Fiffer interviewed more than 35 activists of all ages, backgrounds, and professions. Among those featured are Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative; Don Katz, founder of Audible.com; and award-winning writer Edwidge Danticat. Excerpts featuring Jackson, MS Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and Professor Ebony Lumumba, Zev Shapiro, and Christian Picciolini appeared here previously.Renee Montgomery, 35, is the co-owner/vice president of the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Dream—one of the few Black women to be a major owner of a major sports franchise. A native of Charleston, West Virginia, she was a two-time All American and national champion at the University of Connecticut and an All Star and two-time WNBA champion. In June 2020, she opted out of the Dream’s WNBA season to be a “catalyst” for social justice reform, creating the non-partisan "Remember the 3rd" campaign, dedicated to political education and turning out voters in Georgia for the November 3, 2020, special election for the U.S. Senate. She retired from the game in 2021. In addition to her involvement with the Dream, she co-hosts the podcast Montgomery & Co. and has created the Renee Montgomery Foundation.After George Floyd was murdered and the protests began, I was sitting on the couch with my wife, Sirena, and we were looking at the national news, which was talking about what was going on in Atlanta. I'm looking out my window, and I'm looking at the same images that are on TV. I'm in Atlanta! I can see firsthand what's going on. And it was being portrayed in a way that I didn't see or feel. People were trying to make it seem like there was negative energy here, that there was anger. But when I was at the protest, there was a community feel. It felt like people were banding together for a cause.Read more at The Daily Beast.