Renee Montgomery, the 34-year-old WNBA player for the Atlanta Dream, is retiring to focus on social justice issues in America. This has been a trend in the WNBA, a number of players have retired from the league to do some of the same, such as Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx, who retired to focus on criminal justice issues.
Montgomery is an eleven-year guard who has won a pair of WNBA championships for the Minnesota Lynx, ironically, and was awarded the Sixth Woman of the Year award for the Connecticut Sun, according to Vox and Si. She also earned an all rookie’s honor for her play in the first year with Lynx who drafted her. Also, she contributed to a Lynx franchise record of 23 regular season wins during her time there. In her career, she would play for the Minnesota Lynx, Connecticut Sun, and Atlanta Dream. She played her last season as a member of the Dream in 2019 and later on became part-owner of that team.
Montgomery’s decision to retire is significant to the Black Lives Matter movement. The reason why is because she wants to support the opening and success of more Black-owned businesses and corporations to help minorities understand the power they hold. Systemic racism towards black people comes from a minimal amount of them not owning businesses in the United States compared to white people so they have the power to perpetuate the system of racism. ‘Money runs the world’ so if more Black people owned more businesses, then it could close the gap in wealth between white and Black people, according to an article from Gray Group International. Montgomery can accumulate wealth and give it back to her community, which can also help the generational wealth of her family.
“Healthy Black-owned businesses could be a critical component for closing the United States’ Black-white wealth gap…”, according to an article from McKinsey and Company. Historically, Black people are perceived to be poor compared to white people which is why some believe they are systemically unequal to them. If more Black people opened businesses then that myth could go away because that indicates that Black people have the resources to own businesses that accumulate wealth. It could decrease the stereotype of Black people being poor and living in poverty that relates to the systemic racism in America because of how people view Black people, in general.