WNBA player Dearica Hamby says Aces ‘bullied’ her over pregnancy


The Las Vegas Aces traded Dearica Hamby, who is pregnant with her second child, to the Los Angeles Sparks Saturday, with Hamby alleging that the Aces had treated her in an “unprofessional and unethical way that … has been traumatizing” because of her pregnancy.

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

Hamby was an important member of the Aces’ 2022 WNBA championship team, and was sent to the Sparks, along with a 2024 first-round pick, in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick and the negotiating rights to forward Amanda Zahui B. Hamby had signed a two-year contract extension with the Aces in June.

She announced her pregnancy in September during the team’s championship parade, adding that she had told the Aces she planned to play when the team opens its 2023 season on May 20. However, she claims the team told her that, although she was working out with staff, she was “‘not taking my workouts seriously.’”

“I have had my character and work ethic attacked,” Hamby wrote. “I was promised things to entice me to sign my contract extension that were not followed through on. I was accused of being knowingly pregnant when I signed my extension. 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 whether I had planned my pregnancy. When I responded, ‘no,’ I was then told that I ‘was not taking precautions to not get pregnant.’ I was being traded because ‘I wouldn’t be ready and we need bodies.’”

Hamby’s post drew over 29,000 likes as well as responses from some fellow players. The Washington Wizards’ Elena Della Donne wrote, “admire your strength!” and Lexie Brown of the Sparks wrote, “Love you Dearica!!!! Only up from here.”

The WNBA’s collective bargaining agreement put in place in 2020 states that players will receive their full salary during maternity leave as well as a child-care stipend. A maternity cap exception permits teams to sign a replacement player at her applicable minimum if they don’t have cap room to do so. The Aces and the WNBA have not commented on Hamby’s post, but the Women’s National Basketball Players Association said it would investigate.

“A member of our Union has raised serious concerns regarding the conduct of members of Las Vegas Aces’ management,” the WNBPA said in a statement Without naming Hamby. “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.”

Hamby tweeted her approval of and happiness about the trade, but wrote in her IG post that “we fought for provisions that would finally support and protect player parents. This cannot now be used against me.”

The San Antonio Silver Stars selected Hamby at number six in the 2015 WNBA draft. When the team moved to Las Vegas in 2018, it became known as the Aces. Hamby, who was the league’s Sixth Woman of the Year in 2019 and 2020, averaged 9.3 points and 7.1 rebounds last season as the Aces won their first championship.

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