Broadcasters made “unacceptable” comments about Courtney Williams during Sunday’s Chicago Sky game, center Elizabeth Williams said Tuesday.

During Chicago’s 104-96 win over the Dallas Wings, Sky guard Dana Evans and Wings guard Odyssey Sims got into a verbal altercation. Courtney Williams left the bench but was stopped by an assistant coach before becoming involved.

Yet the broadcast singled out Williams during the altercation, both with a tight camera shot and in the discussion from the commentators. After seeing clips of the broadcast, Elizabeth Williams called out the commentators for “profiling” her teammate. Williams was suspended for two games by the WNBA in 2021 for her involvement in a fight outside of an Atlanta club.

“I wanted to verbalize that there should never be a situation where [Courtney’s] character is misinterpreted or anything involving the past is brought up in a situation that she had nothing to do with,” she said.

The commentators discussed Williams but did not mention her Sky teammate Ruthy Hebard, who left the bench and then became involved in the altercation between Evans and Sims, until three minutes later. Hebard was ejected from the game and received a one-game suspension from the WNBA, while Williams received a fine for leaving the bench.

“She’s a rider,” commentator Raegan Pebley said on the broadcast. “She’s going to have her teammates’ and her coaches’ back.”

Elizabeth Williams took the time Tuesday to defend her teammate.

“I don’t think in a situation like that, with Courtney or anyone else, we should deal with that type of profiling,” she said. “I think I am confident in saying, whether this is racial or based on her reputation, that Courtney should never be put in that position where cameras are zooming in on her when she has nothing to do with any of that.”

Also on the broadcast, Courtney Williams could be seen expressing her frustration with teammate Taylor Soule.

“There, you can see them pushing [Courtney Williams] away [from the altercation],” commentator Ron Thulin said.

But Courtney Williams offered up a different perspective on the situation, noting that Soule had “grabbed me.”

“I don’t know if people didn’t see the other angle or what happened before that, but that was because Taylor grabbed me,” she said. “I was going off on Taylor like, ‘Why are you grabbing me? I’m not doing anything.’”

Williams said Tuesday that it has been difficult to “rebrand and reinvent” herself. Being depicted as she was Sunday was “draining,” particularly given that the broadcast focused primarily on her.

“It’s just draining, not only being myself, but I’m the one that has to get on Twitter and see everybody calling me a hoodlum and saying I should have gotten ejected, too,” she said. “Why am I a scapegoat? Why is that not being said about anyone else that got off the bench?”

Sky interim coach and general manager Emre Vatansever told the Sun Times that the team has sent a letter to the WNBA to contest Williams’ fine.

“There’s nothing going on with Courtney other than her stepping on the floor and the whole camera for a couple of minutes is just focusing on her, and everybody is talking about Courtney,” Vatansever said. “Why? I’m questioning, why?”

The Dallas Wings’ loss Sunday to the Chicago Sky featured two ejections and a fight during a chippy WNBA weekend, one which has resulted in one suspension and seven fines for players.

Wings star Arike Ogunbowale, one of the players ejected Sunday, gave voice afterward to a question that has echoed across the league this season: What is going on with the referees?

Ogunbowale received her second ejection of the season for making unnecessary contact with an official with 52 seconds left in the game. The 26-year-old guard’s shoulder knocked against the referee’s shoulder, which led to the technical foul and ejection.

“[The referee] was looking for something. I just watched it back a million times,” Ogunbowale said after the game. “I don’t know what’s going on this year with the refs but that was the worst call I’ve ever seen in my life.”

While Ogunbowale avoided a suspension, she did receive a fine for her contact with the official and for her postgame comments. Sky forward Ruthy Hebard received a one-game suspension and a fine for leaving the bench area during an on-court altercation earlier in the game, and her teammate Courtney Williams received a fine for doing the same.

The WNBA also handed out punishments for an altercation during Sunday’s game between the Los Angeles Sparks and Washington Mystics. Los Angeles’ Layshia Clarendon and Washington’s Ariel Atkins, Brittney Sykes and Shakira Austin all received fines.

Mystics players Elena Delle Donne and Natasha Cloud both have expressed frustration with WNBA officiating this season. In May, Delle Donne criticized the referees for treating her “like a rookie with calls.” In July, Cloud had even harsher words for the referees.

“I don’t care what pipeline refs we have coming through. I don’t care,” she said. “We have to do our job every single night. You need to do yours. This is bull—t. This is f–king bull–t.”

In June, Atlanta Dream coach Tanisha Wright questioned the officiating in one of her team’s games, particularly a flagrant-one call on New York Liberty guard Stefanie Dolson that Wright believes warranted a flagrant-two and an ejection.

“We’re expected to play at a high level every single night… The officials need to be able to rise to that same occasion. They should be held to that same standard,” Wright said. “They’re going to fine me for this, but I’m challenging them to raise their standards… Officiating needs to get better, period.”

Also in June, Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd — after scoring a career-high 41 points — took time to call out officiating issues.

“Protect the players,” Loyd said. “It’s not just us. Every single team has said something about the refs. That tells you that something is going wrong in that department. You expect high-level players, we expect high-level refs. We’re not getting that every single night.”

Ruthy Hebard is a mom.

In one fell swoop on Sunday, the Chicago Sky forward announced her surprise offseason pregnancy and the birth of baby boy Xzavier Reid, born on April 11.

Hebard, who trained throughout her pregnancy, was playing overseas when she found out she was pregnant, she said in a short film released in conjunction with Togethxr,

“I played overseas. It was definitely very different than anything else I’ve experienced,” she said. “I was playing 30, 35 minutes a game and I was like, ‘Okay, I feel like I’m getting bigger and I probably shouldn’t be getting bigger if I’m playing all game, every game and working out, you know?’”

Hebard said she didn’t have any morning sickness or cravings, and her first pregnancy test came back negative so she continued to play basketball.

“And then, I took my next test when I got home and that’s when I got the positive test that said I was pregnant,” she said. “And then I went to the doctor and found out that I was pretty far along. More far along than I thought I would be.”

By the time she found out about her pregnancy, she already was five or six months along. Looking back, Hebard believes her experience was “meant to be.”

While she felt nervous before telling Sky coach James Wade about her pregnancy, the team was happy to hear the news, Hebard said. Wade also encouraged her to have the baby in Chicago, which is where she was born before being adopted and raised in Alaska.

She also knew it would be easier to make the transition back to basketball if she were with the Sky throughout the process.

“And then just having him here, me being born here, I think it’s just all kind of full circle,” she said.

Hebard was present for the opening day of Sky training camp Sunday, with her son in tow, and she already has been working to get back into basketball shape. She intends to start weight training again this week, and while there is no timetable for her return to basketball activities, Hebard told Togethxr she aims to return to the court for the Sky in May.

“That’s my goal. I’m competitive. I want to be back on the floor,” she said. “I want to be back for my teammates too, just be back for them and just being confident in myself and in my body that I would play in May.”

She also is hoping that being around a team of strong women athletes will help rub off on her newborn.

“I’m just excited to have these strong women around him for him to see and there’s a bunch of strong men around,” Hebard said Sunday. “It takes strong men to work with women in sports so [Xzavier] seeing a great environment is something that I’m happy about.

“Today was awesome. I think everybody was just happy to be here and there was so much youthful energy which was great. The locker room is already fun and I’m really excited for this team.”