WNBA's Dearica Hamby says Las Vegas Aces discriminated against her over pregnancy
The GIST: Free agency began in earnest on Saturday when player negotiations opened, bringing with it new emoji-filled, conspiracy theory–inspiring tweets.
- But a story that’s bigger than ball took center stage after Las Vegas Aces fan-favorite Dearica Hamby was traded to the LA Sparks, then shared claims that the Aces discriminated against her for being pregnant. Beyond unacceptable.
The details: Following Saturday’s trade news, Hamby posted a letter of gratitude to the city of Las Vegas, Aces fans and her teammates. The two-time All-Star also included stunning allegations against the Vegas organization, writing that she was “lied to, bullied, manipulated, and discriminated against” in relation to her pregnancy.
- ICYMI: Hamby announced her second pregnancy during the Aces’ championship celebration in September 2022. She says that the organization questioned her commitment to the team, despite her plans to play during the 2023 season.
- Not only would this behavior be “unprofessional and unethical,” it’s also potentially illegal. The players signed a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in 2020 that expanded protections for pregnant players.
The response: With that in mind — and with fans rightfully enraged — the WNBPA released a statement saying they would review the claims of a “member of [their] Union” (presumed to be Hamby) and seek a comprehensive investigation to ensure her rights weren’t violated. As they should.
- Meanwhile, the Aces have yet to comment on the allegations, only thanking Hamby for her eight years with the organization in the trade announcement.
Zooming out: While there’s been significant progress when it comes to motherhood in sports (thank you, Serena Williams, Allyson Felix and Skylar Diggins-Smith, to name a few), Hamby’s story highlights the discrimination many still face.
- It also comes on the heels of Icelandic soccer player Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir winning a landmark maternity battle with her former club, Lyon, last week after being horrifyingly mistreated during her pregnancy.
- Both Hamby and Gunnarsdóttir bravely coming forward with their stories will undoubtedly make it easier for those who come after them, but they should’ve never endured this in the first place. The work continues.