Dearica Hamby was traded from the Las Vegas Aces to the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday, then alleged that her former organization treated her in an “unprofessional and unethical manner that … has been traumatizing” because of her pregnancy.
“Being traded is part of the business,” Hamby said in a statement on Instagram. “Being lied to, bullied, manipulated and discriminated against is not.”
The Aces sent Hamby, a core member of their 2022 WNBA championship team, and a 2024 first-round pick to the Sparks in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick and the negotiating rights to send Amanda Zahui B. The trade comes after Hamby – – who had spent his entire career with the Las Vegas Aces/San Antonio Stars organization – signed a two-year contract extension with the Aces in June.
Hours after the deal was announced, Hamby made accusations against his former team in a statement on Instagram.
Hamby, who announced during the Aces victory parade that she was expecting her second child, said in the statement that she planned to play the 2023 season and had expressed that to the Aces. Although she trained with team staff during her pregnancy, she said she was told she “‘didn’t take my training seriously'” and that Aces staff told her they “(didn’t) see that” she would be ready to return.
“I have had my character and work ethic attacked,” Hamby’s statement read. “I was promised things to entice me to sign my contract extension which was not followed up. I was accused of signing my extension knowingly pregnant. This is false. I was told I was ‘a question mark’, and that it was said that I said I wanted to ‘get pregnant again’ and there was a concern about my level of commitment to the team. I was told that ‘I didn’t keep my end of the bargain’ (because ‘no one expected , that I would be 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 answered ‘no’, I was told that I ‘didn’t take precautions not to get pregnant. pregnant.’ I was traded because ‘I didn’t want to be ready and we need bodies’.”
Hamby alleged that her “honesty was met with coldness, disrespect and disregard from management members.”
“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 female empowerment, is disappointing and makes me sick to my stomach,” she continued Hamby. posts on social media. “We fought for provisions that would finally support and protect player parents. This cannot now be used against me.”
As part of the new CBA enacted in 2020, WNBA players receive their full salary while on maternity leave, as well as a childcare stipend. There is a maternity cap exception that allows teams to sign a replacement player at the applicable minimum if they do not have cap space.
The WNBPA released a statement after Hamby’s post, without specifying who it was, saying: “A member of our union has raised serious concerns regarding the conduct of members of Las Vegas Aces management. We will review this matter and we will 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 Aces did not respond to a request for comment from ESPN. The WNBA said it had no comment at this time. But the WNBA Players Association said it will require an investigation.
Meanwhile, Hamby, a two-time Sixth Player of the Year, expressed excitement about joining the Sparks, tweeting“The best is yet to come! Looking forward to being in LA and can’t wait to get back on the field.”
“Adding Dearica to our roster plus a future first-round pick was a solid move for us,” Sparks general manager Karen Bryant said in a statement. “We are excited to have another key piece in place as we begin free agency.”
The Sparks — who have a new head coach in Curt Miller and GM in Bryant — have already made some big moves via trade, acquiring veteran point guard Jasmine Thomas earlier this week from the Connecticut Sun.