LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The WNBA confirmed Wednesday it is investigating January allegations by Dearica Hamby that the Aces discriminated against her, with the league probe including accusations the team has circumvented the salary cap.
Hamby, who is pregnant, was traded by the Aces on Jan. 21 to the Los Angeles Sparks. After the deal, the player said on social media the Aces bullied and manipulated her and that she also was lied to. The trade was made to clear cap room for the signings of free agent Candace Parker, who agreed to a deal with the Aces a week later, and two other free agents.
Wednesday marked the first time the league acknowledged an investigation. A day after the Jan. 21 trade of Hamby to Los Angeles, the WNBA players’ union said it would review Hamby’s complaints, including whether her rights under the league’s 2020 labor agreement were violated.
In statement released late Wednesday, the Aces said they were aware of the formal investigation launched by the WNBA. “We have been in in contact with league investigators to assist with all information requested, and will continue to do so throughout the investigation,” the statement said. The Aces closed by saying: “Due to the ongoing investigation, the organization will have no further comment at this time.”
On Tuesday, when the team introduced Parker at a news conference, Aces president Nikki Fargas, in answering a question about Hamby, said the players are in “the forefront of who we are as a franchise.”
Fargas did not mention Hamby by name, however, she said to assemble the best team possible “trades will happen.” The team’s recent moves, which includes signing Parker and adding free agents Alysha Clark and Cayla George, were made possible because the team created “the flexibility we needed to sign (those) players.”
Hamby, in a story in the Los Angeles Times last week, did not back off her comments and her allegation that she was discriminated against because of her pregnancy. “”If that can happen to me, that can happen to anybody,” she said in the Times story. “I’m confident that the people and person that said these things or did these things will be held accountable.”