October 5, 2023
Dearica Hamby files complaint against Las Vegas Aces, WNBA
EEOC lawsuit also names WNBA over investigation
On Wednesday, Molly Hensley-Clancy of The Washington Post reported that Los Angeles Sparks forward Dearica Hamby filed a discrimination complaint with the EEOC against her former team, the Las Vegas Aces, and the WNBA last week.
Hamby alleges that the WNBA failed to adequately investigate the Aces. That investigation was first reported by Howard Megdal here at The Next.
Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon, who won the 2022 WNBA Coach of the Year award, allegedly informed Hamby that her time with the Aces had ended.
“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?'” Hamby said in a complaint.
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Hamby has asserted that her allegations were not thoroughly investigated by the WNBA. She further mentioned that her teammates stopped communicating with her after she shared her experiences with them. Additionally, during a game in September, the Aces urged the camera operators not to display any photos of her daughter on the jumbotron.
Hamby accused her former team of bullying, manipulation, and discrimination on her Instagram post after being traded this past offseason in January. She shared that despite being pregnant, she agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Las Vegas Aces last July.
“I was promised things to entice me to sign my contract extension that were not followed through on,” Hamby said. “I was accused of signing my extension knowingly pregnant. This is false. 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.
“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’). 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 responded, ‘no,’ I was then told that I ‘was not taking precautions not to get pregnant.’ I was being traded because ‘I wouldn’t be ready, and we need bodies.’”
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In May, the Las Vegas Aces’ first-round pick for the 2025 WNBA Draft was forfeited and Hammon was suspended for two games by the WNBA for violating league workplace policies.
Terri Carmichael Jackson, the Executive Director of the WNBPA, shared a statement on Hamby’s lawsuit against the Aces.
“In the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement, player parents gained protections that ensured becoming a parent did not mean the end of a career. Obviously, these protections did not change the nature of this business. Any team can trade any player for any reason or no reason at all. But that reason cannot be on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, parental status, or pregnancy status,” Jackson said in a release.
The Las Vegas Aces will take on the New York Liberty in Game 1 of the 2023 WNBA Finals on Sunday, Oct. 8.
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Written by Aya Abdeen
Aya Abdeen is a student in sports journalism at Arizona State University and has been a contributing writer for The Next Hoops since December 2022. Her work has also appeared on AZPreps365.