October 20, 2021
Phoenix Mercury fined $10,000 for skipping postgame media at WNBA Finals
The Phoenix Mercury's postgame media decisions spark controversy and hefty fines
The Phoenix Mercury have been fined $10,000 for failing to attend media availability following their 80-74 Game 4 Finals loss to the Chicago Sky.
As per the league’s 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement and league rules, “Players shall cooperate with all reasonable requests of the news media. Such cooperation by players shall include, but not be limited to, making themselves available for interviews conducted at reasonable times, including interviews before, during, or after WNBA Competitions.”
Availability was later scheduled for 7:40-10 p.m. the following day in the form of end-of-season exit interviews, but writers covering the finals, particularly on deadline, had long since filed their stories and gone home.
Mercury Head Coach Sandy Brondello did participate in her postgame availability session on Sunday. She stated that she wasn’t aware her players had not attended their media session.
“To be quite honest, I didn’t know they didn’t talk to the media,” Brondello said. “If I think about it, this is Chicago’s moment.”
Many Mercury players echoed that they felt it was “Chicago’s moment” and therefore declined to attend media on Sunday, though many observers felt it instead obscured the Sky.
Chicago also had postgame confusion of its own. Finals MVP Kahleah Copper was removed from her original media availability by the Sky’s owner. However, by the end of the night, both Head Coach James Wade and Chicago players participated in full media availability.
“There’s a lot of doors in there,” Taurasi responded when asked about the door incident. The door was seen in Wintrust Arena on Tuesday morning during the Sky’s victory rally and parade.
For reference, the NBA fined Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets $35,000 apiece for repeated failures to adhere to media guidelines in May.