wnba

The message Dearica Hamby's situation sends to WNBA players


Author: Matt EllentuckPublished: 01/25/23

The accusations Dearica Hamby made of being lied to, bullied, manipulated and discriminated against shortly after it was announced that the Las Vegas Aces traded her to the Los Angeles Sparks four months after announcing her pregnancy were crushing to read.

Now Hamby, the player's association, and the league have a lot to investigate to ensure a situation like this never happens again.

What did Hamby allege?

"To be treated this way by an organization, BY WOMEN who are mothers, who have claimed to 'be in these shoes,' who preach family, chemistry, and women's empowerment is disappointing and leaves me sick to my stomach" Hamby said on Instagram.

In her post, Hamby mentions she was accused of signing a contract extension knowingly pregnant, which she denied. She also alleges there were questions of her commitment to the team and her seriousness while working out during her pregnancy.

"The unprofessional and unethical way that I have been treated has been traumatizing," she said.

Hamby did not specifically name anyone within in the Aces' organization in the post.

What is the WNBA's Players' Association doing?

"A member of our Union has raised serious concerns regarding the conduct of members of Las Vegas Aces’ management," the WNBPA said in a statement. "We will review this matter and we will seek a comprehensive investigation to ensure that her rights under the collectively bargained provisions of the 2020 CBA, as well as her rights and protections under state and federal law, have not been violated."

Have the Aces responded?

So far, no. At least not publicly.

On the day she was traded, the Aces put out a post thanking Hamby and her daughter, Amaya, for their time in Vegas. Hamby helped the franchise to their first-ever championship in 2022, and also won the league's Sixth Woman of the Year award in consecutive seasons.

The team has not posted on Twitter or Instagram since.

This trade is setting an awful precedent, and forcing players to treat the league like the business it is

Hamby is not the first mother expecting a child in the league and won't be the last. Players have to wonder if this can happen to a player as well-respected by her teammates and talented as Hamby, an All-Star and champion, why can't it happen to them next? It could even dissuade those hopeful to have children from doing so on their own timeline.

Marissa Coleman and I spoke about it on our show, See You In The Lobby.

"Players need to start understanding that it is a business," Coleman said. "You have to remove all emotion, all loyalty out of it honestly. At the end of the day, teams are going to do what's best for them. And it's unfortunate in that as athletes, our humanity always has a contingency to it. It's 'what have you done for me lately? Are you producing?'"

The WNBA and WNBPA made a huge stride forward in their 2020 collective bargaining agreement, securing for the first time 100% guaranteed salary in its pregnancy disability clause. Now, a further expansion of the benefits provided to expecting mothers should be sought out.


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