Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery to sit out the 2020 WNBA season and focus on off-court social justice initiatives

Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery will sit out the 2020 WNBA season to focus on off-court initiatives, the team announced Thursday. She is the first player to opt out of the season that is scheduled to start in late July amid the coronavirus pandemic, rising infection rates in Florida where teams will play in a bubble environment, and protests around the country against police brutality. Montgomery has been vocal about social justice and systemic racism in recent weeks and attended protests in Atlanta.

From the Dream:

Montgomery, an 11-year veteran and two-time WNBA Champion, will apply her time to growing the Renee Montgomery Foundation and focusing on social justice reform. Montgomery has been instrumental in raising money to help protesters and support the Black Lives Matter movement. She will also take on speaking engagements to help educate and rally the Atlanta community and beyond.

“After much thought, I’ve decided to opt out of the 2020 WNBA season,” Montgomery said. “There’s work to be done off the court in so many areas in our community. Social justice reform isn’t going to happen overnight but I do feel that now is the time and ‘Moments equal Momentum.’ Let’s keep it going.”

During the offseason, Montgomery served as the color analyst for the College Park Skyhawks and as an analyst on FOX Sports South during Hawks LIVE.

“While I am saddened Renee will not be in a Dream uniform this summer, I am incredibly proud of her passion for her foundation, her outreach in the community and her chance to impact the Black Lives Matter movement with her platform as a WNBA athlete,” Head Coach Nicki Collen said. “As a coach in this league I understand that I can’t just say we are “bigger than ball” but rather i must embody it.”

“We are disappointed Renee will not be contributing on the court this season, but her assistance to the community is extremely significant and will help bring attention to important causes,” Dream President & General Manager Chris Sienko said. “We fully support Renee’s off-the-court efforts and know that she can help facilitate change in Atlanta and around the globe.”

In two seasons with the Dream, Montgomery has played and started all 68 games. She has averaged 9.9 points and 3.2 assists in 27.7 minutes per game. Her 146 three-pointers made is good for third all-time in franchise history and her 78 threes made in 2018 set a new franchise record.

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