The WNBA punished the Las Vegas Aces after an investigation into their treatment of Dearica Hamby, but the WNBA Players Association called the penalties “far from appropriate.”
The Aces lost their first-round pick in the 2025 WNBA Draft for offering Hamby “impermissible benefits” when negotiating a two-year extension last June, and Aces coach Becky Hammon received a two-game suspension for her comments to Hamby about her pregnancy. The WNBA’s decision in both cases “misses the mark,” the players association said in a statement.
“Where in this decision does this team or any other team across the League learn the lesson that respect in the workplace is the highest standard and a player’s dignity cannot be manipulated?” the WNBPA said.
Hamby was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks in January, four months after she won a championship with Las Vegas and seven months after she signed an extension with the team. After the trade, Hamby wrote in an Instagram post that a member of the Aces’ front office had made “disgusting comments” about her pregnancy.
“Did the team expect me to promise not to get pregnant in exchange for the contract extension?” Hamby wrote.
The WNBPA called for an investigation into Hamby’s accusations at the time and pledged its continued support for her Tuesday “as she considers the league’s decision and explores all available remedies.”
In regard to the lost draft pick, the WNBPA also questioned the league’s decision to take a draft spot from a prospective player.
“While taking away a future draft pick is significant and has never been done in the league’s history, it penalizes a future player by removing an opportunity to compete for a job,” the WNBPA said.
Our statement regarding the League’s announcement of the findings of its investigation. pic.twitter.com/GLhkKUlVL8— WNBPA (@TheWNBPA) May 16, 2023
Our statement regarding the League’s announcement of the findings of its investigation. pic.twitter.com/GLhkKUlVL8