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WNBA player receives fine for criticizing referees: ‘It needed to be said’

Natisha Hiedeman called out WNBA referees after her team's playoff series against the New York Liberty. (Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Natisha Hiedeman is backing up her comments on WNBA referees, even after receiving a fine from the league.

After the Connecticut Sun’s series loss to the New York Liberty in the 2023 WNBA playoffs, Hiedeman took to social media, where she called out the officiating throughout the season.

“Now that we don’t got no more checks coming in the refs have been terrible from both sides…not even in this series but the whole season,” she wrote. “Ppl gon get hurt. I hope for the finals it can just be FAIR!!”

As it turns out, there was still one more paycheck the WNBA could draw from: Her playoff bonus. Players on teams eliminated in the semifinal round are set to receive merit bonuses of $3,123 each.

On Tuesday, Hiedeman posted a screenshot of a text message thread indicating that she would be getting a fine from the WNBA for her comments on the referees. She included a tongue-in-cheek response on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, writing: “Now that I’ve had time to think about it the officials are actually doing a great job.”

In the text message thread, though, she stood by her comments, writing: “It needed to be said.”

Hiedeman isn’t the first person to receive a fine from the WNBA for comments about officiating, with a number of players and coaches having called out referees throughout the season.