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Two-time WNBA All-Star Dearica Hamby was traded from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on Saturday. She alleges that the Aces, her former team, treated her in an “unprofessional and unethical way” in regard to her pregnancy.
Hamby, a crucial component to the team’s 2022 WNBA Championship, was traded to the Sparks along with a 2024 first-round draft pick. In exchange, the Aces received a 2024 second-round pick and the negotiating rights to forward Amanda Zahui B.
Hamby had spent her entire career with the Las Vegas/San Antonio organization. She signed a two-year contract extension with the team back in June.
Her allegations against the Aces were posted on Instagram.
During Las Vegas’ WNBA Championship parade, Hamby announced that she is expecting her second child. The 29-year-old believes that her pregnancy played a role in the team’s decision to trade her to Los Angeles.
She said in her statement that she informed the Aces of her plans to play the 2023 season. However, despite working out with the team, Hamby claims that she was told her workouts were not sufficient and that the team personnel told her they “[didn’t] see that” she would be ready to return.
In addition, Dearica Hamby claims that Las Vegas held her pregnancy against her.
Hamby claimed that the Aces falsely accused her of signing an extension while knowingly pregnant. She claims that her treatment was “unethical” and that the team thought less of her because of her pregnancy.
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’).— Dearica Hamby in a statement.
She also believes that her pregnancy played a role in the trade.
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.’— Dearica Hamby in a statement.
As part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2020, WNBA teams are required to pay their players in full while on maternity leave. The athletes also receive a childcare stipend.
In response to Hamby’s allegations, the WNBA Player’s Association released the following statement:
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.— WNBA PA in a statement.
Las Vegas and the WNBA have yet to respond to Hamby’s allegations.