Former Falcons executive Shaw Parker named Dream president

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Dream named former NFL executive Morgan Shaw Parker its president and chief operating officer on Wednesday.

Shaw Parker replaces Chris Sienko, who was fired by the WNBA team on April 21.

She had served as chief marketing officer of Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank’s sports and entertainment group. She will be oversee business operations while working with new owners Larry Gottesdiener, Suzanne Abair and Renee Montgomery, a former Dream player.

Montgomery became the first former player to become both an owner and executive in the WNBA.

The ownership change announced in February came after pressure on former U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican who angered WNBA players with her opposition to the league’s racial justice initiatives, to sell her share of the Dream.

Shaw Parker referenced the new ownership’s support of racial justice initiatives. She said the team’s “new leadership celebrates its players and embraces their powerful roles both on the court and in the Atlanta community.”

“I have proactively championed women’s sports throughout my entire career and there’s no better time than now for me to take an active leadership role to shine a spotlight on these amazing athletes.”

Shaw Parker led marketing and communications initiatives for the Falcons and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. She previously worked with Nike Inc.

Gottesdiener, the majority owner, said Shaw Parker “is an absolute force in the sports industry, and she will be a true game-changer for the Atlanta Dream. Morgan’s genuine, thoughtful professionalism was an instant fit for our culture, and her passion for women’s sports matches our own.”

Montgomery said Shaw Parker’s “enthusiasm for making an impact on the city of Atlanta is exactly the kind of leadership we need.”

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More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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