Dearica Hamby’s former Las Vegas Aces teammates cut off contact with her after she went public with her claims of mistreatment by the team, she said in a discrimination complaint filed on Sept. 22.

In the complaint, filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the Aces and the WNBA, the 29-year-old forward alleges that Las Vegas traded her to the Los Angeles Sparks in January because she was pregnant. She also contends that the WNBA “failed to properly investigate” the incident in “retaliation” for her public comments about the situation, as first reported by the Washington Post.

Hamby first spoke out about “unethical treatment” by the Aces in the immediate aftermath of her trade. But in the complaint, she shares new details of her allegations.

After she revealed her pregnancy in August, the Aces “retaliated” against her, creating an “abusive and hostile” work environment, Hamby said. Her former teammates cut off communication with her after she spoke out, per the complaint.

And even after she was traded to the Sparks, Hamby claims the Aces attempted to obtain private OBGYN medical records, as reported by CBS Sports.

Hamby also claims that the WNBA failed to interview any current Aces players in the investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, the league suspended Las Vegas head coach Becky Hammon for two games, and also rescinded the team’s 2025 first-round draft pick.

“The league conducted a thorough investigation of the allegations and levied appropriate discipline based on its findings,” the WNBA said in a statement.

Dearica Hamby has filed a federal discrimination complaint against the WNBA and the Las Vegas Aces, as first reported by the Washington Post’s Molly Hensley-Clancy.

In the complaint, filed last week with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Hamby alleges that the Aces traded her to the Los Angeles Sparks in January because she was pregnant. She also contends that the WNBA “failed to properly investigate” the incident in “retaliation” for her public comments about the situation, Hensley-Clancy reported.

The 29-year-old forward went public with her claims of “unethical treatment” from the Aces after the trade, which then led to an investigation by the WNBA. Las Vegas head coach Becky Hammon received a two-game suspension for making comments related to Hamby’s pregnancy in violation of Respect in the Workplace policies.

In the complaint, Hamby recalls Hammon informing her of her trade to the Sparks: “During this conversation, I stated twice to Hammon, ‘You’re trading me because I am pregnant?’ Hammon responded, ‘What do you want me to do?'”

After winning the 2022 WNBA title with the Aces, Hamby announced her pregnancy during the Aces’ victory parade. The two-time Sixth Player of the Year gave birth to son Legend in March, and she played all 40 games of the 2023 season for the Sparks, averaging 8.9 points and 5.9 rebounds in 24.8 minutes per game.

The news of the complaint comes as Hammon and the Aces prepare to face off against the New York Liberty in the 2023 WNBA Finals.

Dearica Hamby is an inspiration to “all working mothers,” Los Angeles Sparks coach Curt Miller said Sunday after his team’s season finale.

Hamby welcomed her son Legend in March, two months after her trade to the Sparks. Following the move, she claimed her former team, the Las Vegas Aces, had “discriminated against” her due to her pregnancy.

For the Sparks, Hamby played all 40 games of the 2023 WNBA season, averaging 8.9 points and 5.9 rebounds in 24.8 minutes per game.

“The W has incredible individual stories each season, but I would love to shout-out @dearicamarie!” he wrote on social media. “Dearica played in ALL 40-regular season games shortly after giving birth to her second child. She is a true inspiration to our entire league and all working mothers.”

Hamby responded, writing: “Thank you for believing in me to come back so soon.”

The 29-year-old forward also thanked her two children, daughter Amaya and son Legend. She posted two videos of them supporting her at home and watching her play.

After winning the 2022 WNBA title with the Aces, she announced her pregnancy during the championship parade. But after her offseason trade, she wrote a statement outlining the Aces’ treatment of her after she revealed her pregnancy, calling it “unprofessional and unethical.”

“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,” she wrote.

After an investigation into Hamby’s claims, the WNBA suspended Aces head coach Becky Hammon without pay for the first two games of the 2023 season. The league also stripped the team of its 2025 first-round draft pick.

In announcing the Aces’ punishments, the WNBA confirmed that Hammon made comments to Hamby about her pregnancy in violation of the league’s Respect in the Workplace policies, but Hammon has denied Hamby’s specific claims.

Dearica Hamby was welcomed back to Las Vegas with a standing ovation Saturday as the Aces received their 2022 WNBA championship rings.

The 29-year-old forward was traded in January to the Los Angeles Sparks, who lost 93-65 to the Aces on the night of their banner-raising ceremony.

The game also marked the return of Aces head coach Becky Hammon as well, who was suspended for the first two games of the season following a WNBA investigation into the circumstances surrounding Hamby’s departure. Following the trade, Hamby criticized the “unprofessional and unethical way” the team treated her due to her pregnancy. She gave birth to a baby boy in the offseason.

The WNBA suspended Hammon for making comments to Hamby about her pregnancy in violation of the league’s Respect in the Workplace policies. The league also rescinded the Aces’ 2025 first-round draft pick due to promises of “impermissible benefits” made to Hamby during her contract negotiations.

Despite the rocky end to her tenure in Las Vegas, Hamby received a warm welcome from the home crowd as she accepted her championship ring. She played for the franchise from 2015 to 2022.

“Obviously a moment that I know I should probably be proud of and embrace,” Hamby told the Associated Press before the game. “I mean, me getting a ring is special, but I’m going to do it for the fans.”

Hamby’s former teammates were happy to share the honor with her.

“I feel like it was a great moment for her to have, a great moment for us to share with her,” Aces star A’ja Wilson said. “We don’t win the ring without [Dearica]. I’m not gonna not say that because it’s true. So it’s very great she could have that moment and share it with her two children and her mom and her sister there. And it was really good to see her.”

If Hamby and the Sparks were looking to spoil ring night, though, they failed to do so. The shorthanded lineup, which was without Chiney Ogwumike, Jordin Canada and Layshia Clarendon, among others, fell to the Aces. Wilson led Las Vegas with 23 points and 6 rebounds on 10-of-13 shooting.

Aces head coach Becky Hammon is adamant that her two-game suspension for violating league and team Respect in the Workplace policies is unfounded.

The WNBA handed the 2022 Coach of the Year a two-game suspension without pay on Tuesday in relation to Las Vegas’ trade of Dearica Hamby back in January. The league’s investigation also found the Aces had made promises of “impermissible benefits” when negotiating a two-year contract extension with Hamby last June and stripped the organization of its 2025 first-round draft pick.

Hamby was pregnant at the time of her trade to the Los Angeles Sparks and said in an Instagram post that the Aces organization “bullied, manipulated, lied to and discriminated against” her due to her pregnancy.

“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,” Hamby wrote. “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’).”

Hammon says those claims are false.

“I handled Dearica with care from day one when she told me (about the pregnancy), and she knows that,” Hammon said in a press conference on Wednesday.

Hamby never specified who within the Aces organization made the discriminatory statements, though she did say in interviews following the initiation of an investigation that it was an individual and not a group of people.

The league investigation revealed that the individual was Hammon.

“The Respect in the Workplace violation was related to comments made by Hammon to Hamby in connection with Hamby’s recent pregnancy,” the WNBA statement reads.

The WNBA added that the investigation included interviews of 33 players and the review of texts, emails and other documents. Hammon denied texting or emailing Hamby anything negative regarding her pregnancy.

“Those are completely false,” Hammon said of the allegations. “I never had one bad text between me and Dearica Hamby. Completely false. Or email. First of all, I don’t email my players, I talk to them directly. But we do exchange texts, and anything that is less than the up-and-up I can tell you is adamantly false from any person in this organization. That’s not how we do business. That’s not who we are.”

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Hamby was a two-time Sixth Player of the Year with the Aces. (David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images)

Hammon also said that she and Hamby had a “great relationship” and that the trade was “nothing personal.”

In her statement at the time of the trade, Hamby acknowledged that “being traded is part of the business” and specified that she did not take issue with the trade itself but rather the way she was treated throughout the process.

According to Hammon, the trade came down to “math and business.” Dealing Hamby to L.A. created enough cap space at the time for the reigning champion Aces to sign Candace Parker in free agency and form what many have dubbed a superteam.

Hammon went on to say that no one on the current Aces roster was interviewed in the investigation.

“I know that because none of the girls told me they were interviewed or asked to be interviewed,” she said, without acknowledging whether it was possible that players were interviewed and elected not to tell their coach.

In response to the league’s decision on Tuesday, the WNBA Players Association said that the punishment does not do enough to uphold the 2020 collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

“The League had an opportunity to send a clear message that it abides by and protects the provisions of the CBA, particularly those that we were most proud of — the provisions meant to support player parents,” the statement reads. “Today’s decision regarding penalties, however, misses the mark.”

The Aces organization pledged its support to Hammon in response to the penalties.

“The WNBA’s determinations about Becky Hammon are inconsistent with what we know and love about her,” the team said in a statement Tuesday. “Becky is a caring human being who forges close personal relationships with her players. We stand behind Coach Hammon as she continues to lead the Las Vegas Aces.”

The Aces open the 2023 regular season against the Seattle Storm on Saturday. Hammon will return to the sidelines for Las Vegas’ third game at home against Hamby and the Sparks on Saturday, May 27.

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

Dearica Hamby is ready to move forward from her claims of “unethical” treatment by the Las Vegas Aces in the wake of the penalties the WNBA handed down Tuesday to her former team.

Aces coach Becky Hammon was suspended for the first two games of the 2023 season for comments she made to Hamby about her pregnancy. The Aces traded Hamby to the Los Angeles Sparks in January, and she gave birth to a son named Legend in March.

The WNBA also rescinded the Aces’ 2025 first-round draft pick for promises of “impermissible benefits” made to Hamby during the negotiations for her contract extension in June 2022.

While the league announced the penalties Tuesday, Hamby had known about them since Monday, the 29-year-old forward said.

“I really don’t have much to say about it,” she said. “I want to move forward and focus on where I am today. I’m healthy, I’m happy. My son is healthy and I’m going to be playing basketball this season so I want to focus on moving forward, this part of it is over and me and the union will continue to explore my options.”

The WNBPA called the penalties issued to the Aces “far from appropriate” and pledged its continued support for Hamby as she “considers the league’s decision and explores all available remedies.”

Hamby helped the Aces to their first WNBA title in franchise history in September, then revealed her pregnancy to the public during their championship parade.

After her trade to the Sparks, though, Hamby claimed the Aces had “discriminated against” her due to her pregnancy. While she did not specify who in the Las Vegas front office had commented on her pregnancy, she said her commitment to the team was questioned.

“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’),” she wrote.

The WNBA investigated Hamby’s allegations and found Hammon had made comments to Hamby about her pregnancy in violation of the league’s Respect in the Workplace policies. The league did not provide details on the comments.

Still, despite the investigation, Hamby is focusing on “turning the motor back on for basketball.”

“I doubted myself for a little bit but I’m back,” Hamby said. “A woman’s body is incredible in general. I’m going to play and I told (Sparks coach) Curt (Miller) to hold me to the same standard you would if I was fully healthy or not recovering from pregnancy. I work hard and I think that will speak for itself.”

In a statement, the Aces said that they are “deeply disappointed” by the results of the league’s investigation. They also noted that the WNBA’s findings about Hammon “are inconsistent with what we know and love about her.”

Hammon is set to return from her two-game suspension for the Aces’ first home game of the season on May 27, when the team will hold its championship ring and banner-raising ceremony. They will be facing Hamby and the Los Angeles Sparks.

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.

Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon has been suspended for two games without pay and the team has lost its 2025 first-round draft pick as the result of a WNBA investigation, the league announced Tuesday.

Former Aces player Dearica Hamby’s claims of “unethical treatment” from the team led to the investigation. The Aces “discriminated against” Hamby due to her pregnancy, she said in a statement after her trade to the Los Angeles Sparks in January.

In announcing the Aces’ punishments, the WNBA confirmed that Hammon made comments to Hamby about her pregnancy in violation of the league’s Respect in the Workplace policies. Hamby had not specified who in the Las Vegas front office had commented on her pregnancy.

The league did not provide details on Hammon’s comments to Hamby, but Hamby had outlined the team’s criticisms from her perspective in her statement earlier this year.

“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,” she wrote. “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’).”

The Aces also had made promises of “impermissible benefits” when negotiating a two-year extension with Dearica Hamby last June, which led to the loss of the 2025 draft pick.

“It is critical that we uphold the values of integrity and fairness, which create a level playing field for our teams,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “The Aces failed to adhere to league rules and regulations and have been disciplined accordingly. We are also disheartened by the violation of our Respect in the Workplace policies and remain committed to ensuring that enhanced training is conducted and standards are followed across all WNBA teams.”

Several people interviewed by the league also raised concerns about the Aces’ conduct during the most recent free agency period, but the investigation “was not able to substantiate any of those additional concerns,” the league said. The investigation involved interviews with 33 people as well as the review of texts, emails and other documents.

The loss of a 2025 first-round pick could prove particularly costly, especially considering that Las Vegas does not have a 2024 first-round pick due to a prior trade. A number of college stars, including Caitlin Clark, Hailey Van Lith, and Angel Reese, are set to enter the league in the next two years.

The Las Vegas Aces dealt Dearica Hamby to the Los Angeles Sparks this weekend, which prompted a tribute from her longtime Aces teammate Kelsey Plum.

“This one stings,” Plum wrote on Instgram. “My sister, my friend, my teammate, just an amazing human being. I love you, ur strength never ceases to amaze me. I will miss you and Amaya dearly. LA got a good one.”

The pair have played together since 2017, when Plum was drafted No. 1 overall by the franchise. Hamby was drafted with the sixth overall pick by the franchise in 2015.

Hamby made her own thoughts on the trade known as well. She called out the Aces, who she said acted “unprofessional and unethical” in their treatment of her pregnancy. The 29-year-old forward revealed her pregnancy at the Aces’ championship parade.

Under the current collective bargaining agreement, teams are allowed to sign a replacement player under a maternity cap exception if they do not have the cap room.

Yet 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 WNBPA is investigating the Las Vegas Aces after a player raised concerns regarding the conduct of the team’s management.

While the WNBPA did not name the player, the statement came after former Aces player Dearica Hamby claimed in her own statement that the organization treated her in an “unprofessional and unethical” manner due to her pregnancy.

“Being traded is part of the business,” Hamby said in the statement posted on Instagram. “Being lied to, bullied, manipulated, and discriminated against is not.”

The WNBPA will review the matter and “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,” the players association said in its statement.

Under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, players in the WNBA are guaranteed their salary while on maternity leave. Additionally, they are guaranteed two-bedroom apartments by the league and a child-care stipend.

The policy, introduced in the 2020 CBA, was monumental for the league and for women’s sports in general, as it marked a step toward guaranteeing that players can be both mothers and athletes during their careers. The WNBA became the first women’s professional league in the United States to guarantee fully paid maternity leave to players.

More issues surrounding maternity benefits for athletes have arisen over the past week.

On Tuesday, Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir revealed the treatment she received from French club Olympique Lyonnais after becoming pregnant – including withheld pay. FIFA rules established in late 2020 dictate that players receive pregnancy and maternity leave, and the club has been ordered to provide backpay to Gunnarsdóttir.

Many players called out Lyon for the policy, including Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan. Morgan was at the forefront of negotiations for both the USWNT CBA – which stipulates parental leave and protections – and the NWSL CBA, which also has protections for mothers.

In her statement, 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,” Hamby wrote. “We fought for provisions that would finally support and protect player parents. This cannot now be used against me.”