Dearica Hamby claimed Saturday that the Las Vegas Aces were “unprofessional and unethical” in their treatment of her following her pregnancy announcement.
The 29-year-old forward posted a statement to Instagram just hours after she was traded from the Aces to the Los Angeles Sparks, in which she called the way the Aces treated her “traumatizing.”
“Being traded is part of the business,” Hamby said. “Being lied to, bullied, manipulated, and discriminated against is not.”
View this post on Instagram A post shared by dearica marie hamby (@dearicamarie)
A post shared by dearica marie hamby (@dearicamarie)
A core member of the 2022 WNBA championship team, Hamby was dealt to the Sparks alongside a 2024 first-round pick in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick and the rights to negotiate with forward Amanda Zahui B.
Hamby had signed a two-year contract extension with the Aces in June and had spent her entire career with the organization.
During the Aces’ victory parade, Hamby announced that she was expecting her second child. She wrote in her Instagram post that she planned to play the 2023 season and had made that clear to the Aces, including working out with team staff.
Hamby said that she was accused of “not taking my workouts seriously” and that team personnel told her that they “[didn’t] see that” she’d be able to make a return in the 2023 season.
“I have had my character and work ethic attacked,” Hamby’s statement reads. “I was promised things to entice me to sign my contract extension that were not followed through on. I was accused of signing my extension knowingly pregnant. This is false.
“I was told that I was ‘a question mark’ and that it was said that I said I would ‘get pregnant again’ and there was a concern for my level of commitment to the team. I was told that ‘I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain’ (because ‘no one expected me to get pregnant in the next two years’).
“Did the team expect me to promise not to get pregnant in exchange for the contract extension? I was asked if I planned my pregnancy. When I responded, ‘no,’ I was then told that I ‘was not taking precautions to not get pregnant.’ I was being traded because ‘I wouldn’t be ready and we need bodies.'”
Under the current CBA, teams are allowed to sign a replacement player under a maternity cap exception if they do not have the cap room.
Still, Hamby wrote that her “honesty was met with coldness, disrespect, and disregard from members of management.”
“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,” she continued. “We fought for provisions that would finally support and protect player parents. This cannot now be used against me.”
The Aces did not respond to ESPN or to CNN when asked to comment on Hamby’s statement. The WNBA said that it could not provide a comment at this time.
In a statement, the WNBPA said it would be calling for an investigation about “serious concerns” regarding the Aces’ management.
Hamby also took time to thank the Sparks, as well as general manager Karen Bryant and head coach Curt Miller.
“The sincerity in our phone calls and the validation of what was transpiring meant a lot to me,” she wrote. “I will not let what I experienced dictate my dedication to my return and commitment to basketball and belief in this franchise.”