Washington

Natasha Cloud wants to run for public office after basketball

Washington
Natasha Cloud

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 her community and specifically social justice. 

And once her basketball career is over, Cloud remains relentless in her aspirations. While looking to remain a leading voice on promoting change, she's already made up her mind about a post-basketball career. 

Cloud, a Philadelphia native, wants to run for mayor of her hometown city at some point. While she plays on the Washington Mystics and calls D.C. a second home, the City of Brotherly Love is where she wants to have an even greater impact. 

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

But her return in 2021 did not mean the fight was over

Getting involved in a political career would allow her to be even more hands-on with the issues that she cares about most. And it's not just mayor of Philly either, she's not opposed to a gubernatorial run.

 

"I tweeted out that I was going to run for the mayor of Philadelphia, but I really do see myself either running for mayor or for the 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 politics is too messy and I think they need real people in there that actually care about the community and not themselves. Not lining their own pockets, not lining their own things that they need or that they want."

Related: Trying 2021 forced Cloud to change leadership style

For now, her love remains for basketball and having an impact there as well. She gave D.C. their first-ever WNBA championship, but Cloud also realizes that her legacy in basketball can be more than her play on the court. After going to Saint Joseph's studying sports broadcasting and communication, there is a potential future working with major networks given her stature and popularity. But as she has always done, the point guard wants to do more. 

"I just wanted to have more of an impact on the game than [broadcasting]," Cloud said. "I felt that I was really far removed from actually 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 sort of, whether it is the front office, management, something that has an impact on the game, but also my advocacy.

No matter her path, whenever the floor general of the Mystics hangs up the sneakers - which is likely years from now - we're all going to continue to see Natasha Cloud. She'll continue to have a vocal presence and be a leader in whichever second profession she chooses. 

"I want to have impact in our community that's going to change and that's going to progress our people, people that 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 along and you can do whatever you want, even with all the roadblocks set up in place to see us fail," Cloud said.