Natasha Cloud wants to run for public office after her basketball career

Never tell Natasha Cloud to take politics out of her sports. There are few professional athletes – male or female – who can compare to the amount of awareness Cloud has given to important causes in his community and especially social justice.

And once his basketball career is over, Cloud remains relentless in his aspirations. While seeking to remain a leading voice in promoting change, she has already decided on a career after basketball.

Cloud, a Philadelphia native, wants to run for mayor of his hometown at some point. As she stars on the Washington Mystics and calls DC a second home, the City of Brotherly Love is where she wants to make an even bigger impact.

None of this should really come as a shock to those who followed Cloud in the WNBA. Much of his professional career is highlighted by his direct and thoughtful language on issues surrounding the United States and local communities, and his outspoken actions on social issues. At times during their championship season in 2019, Cloud staged a media blackout to protest gun violence in the neighborhood around the Mystics arena. She spent the entirety of the 2020 season, sacrificing her WNBA salary in the process, to focus on social justice issues.

But his return in 2021 didn’t mean the fight was over.

Getting involved in a political career would allow her to be even more involved in the issues that matter most to her. And it’s not just the mayor of Philadelphia either, she’s not opposed to a gubernatorial race.

“I tweeted that I was going to run for mayor of Philadelphia, but I really see myself running for mayor or governor of Pennsylvania,” Cloud told NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller. “It’s something I would love to do, I think we’re doing a terrible job. I think the politics are too complicated and I think they need real people who actually care about the community and not about ‘themselves. Not lining their pockets, not lining up their own things that they need or want.’

Related: Trying 2021 Forced Cloud To Change His Leadership Style

For now, his love remains for basketball and is having an impact there as well. She gave DC its first-ever WNBA championship, but Cloud also realizes that his basketball legacy may be more than his game on the court. After going to Saint Joseph’s to study sports broadcasting and communication, there is a potential future working with major networks given her stature and popularity. But as she always has, the leader wants to do more.

“I just wanted to have more impact on the game than [broadcasting]”, Cloud said. “I felt I was really far from having the impact that I wanted to have, so coaching was next. And I think, I don’t know if I’ll end up coaching, but I want to be in some kind of, whether it’s front office, management, something that impacts the game, but also my advocacy.

Regardless of her path, whenever the Mystics’ floor general hangs up the sneakers — which is likely years away — we’re all going to keep seeing Natasha Cloud. She will continue to have a vocal presence and be a leader in whatever second profession she chooses.

“I want to make an impact in our community that’s going to change and move our people forward, people who look like me. And I want people to see that you can look like me, you can be like me, you can kind of follow and you can do whatever you want, even with all the roadblocks put in place to see us fail,” Cloud said.

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