Dearica Hamby says Aces ‘discriminated’ against her for pregnancy; WNBPA to investigate

Hamby was acquired by the Los Angeles Sparks in a trade announced on Saturday

Two-time Sixth Player of the Year Dearica Hamby spent all eight seasons of her career with the Las Vegas Aces franchise, and had expressed hope to stay with the team — until she was acquired by the Los Angeles Sparks in a trade announced on Saturday. Now, the WNBPA is investigating the Aces' management.

In her first public comments since the trade, Hamby wrote on Instagram she is "heartbroken" after being "discriminated against."

"I gave everything I had, up until the disgusting comments that were made to me," she said.

The 6-foot-3 forward posted a photo caressing her belly followed by three slides addressing Las Vegas, the Aces and fans, detailing mistreatment and thanking Sparks general manager Karen Bryant and coach Curt Miller.

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From Hamby's post:

With that being said.. I am heartbroken.

Being traded is a part of the business. Being lied to, bullied, manipulated, and discriminated against is not. I have had my character and work ethic attacked. I was promised things to entice me to sign my contract extension that were not followed through on. 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 to not get pregnant." I was being traded because "I wouldn't be ready and we need bodies". I planned to play this season, and I have expressed my desire to play this season. I have pushed myself throughout my entire pregnancy and have continued to work out (basketball included) on my own and with team staff - even on days where it was uncomfortable to walk, only to be inaccurately told that "I was not taking my workouts seriously." And "yeah we just don't see that" (with my return). I remained transparent with everyone within the organization, and yet, my honesty was met with coldness, disrespect, and disregard from members of management. I have only put this organization first since day one before any of them were here. "You're getting moved regardless and It's best for your career that you move on from the Aces". The unprofessional and unethical way that I have been treated has been traumatizing. 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 women's empowerment is disappointing and leaves me sick to my stomach. We fought for provisions that would finally support and protect player parents.

This cannot now be used against me.

Hamby announced her second pregnancy during festivities after the Aces won the franchise's first WNBA championship. According to her statement, the team promised her things to "entice" her to sign a contract extension before last season and accused her of doing so while knowing she was pregnant.

She said the Aces questioned her commitment to the team, calling her a "question mark" because she would "get pregnant again," even though she was fully committed to workouts and expressed the desire to return in the 2023 season without missing any time.

The WNBA announced a new collective bargaining agreement in January 2020. The new CBA was applauded for including significant salary increases for players, but its expanded maternity benefits were meant to include protections for playing and pregnant mothers. Hamby brought her daughter into the "wubble" in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic altered the WNBA season.

In a statement, the WNBPA said its investigation will work to "ensure that that her rights" under the CBA, federal and state law have not been violated.

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Dearica Hamby #5 of the Las Vegas Aces warms up before a game against the Atlanta Dream at Michelob ULTRA Arena on July 19, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Dearica Hamby had positive words for city of the Las Vegas and fans. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)