The W.N.B.A. suspended Las Vegas Aces Coach Becky Hammon for two games without pay on Tuesday for comments she made to the All-Star forward Dearica Hamby about her pregnancy.
Hamby was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks in January, four months after the Aces won a championship. At the time, Hamby wrote in a post on Instagram that an unnamed person had made “disgusting comments” to her. She said she had been accused of signing a contract extension when she knew she was pregnant and that she was told she was being traded because “I wouldn’t be ready and we need bodies.” She said her commitment to the team was also called into question.
“Did the team expect me to promise not to get pregnant in exchange for the contract extension?” Hamby wrote in the post. She had signed a contract extension in June 2022.
The W.N.B.A. did not detail what Hammon told Hamby, but said Hammon’s comments violated its policy on respect in the workplace.
The league also said the Aces would lose a first-round pick in the 2025 draft for promising Hamby unspecified impermissible benefits during contract negotiations. In her Instagram post, Hamby said she had been “promised things to entice me to sign my contract extension that were not followed through on.”
The W.N.B.A. players’ union called for an investigation into Hamby’s accusations. On Feb. 8, the Aces said in a statement that the league had begun a formal investigation and that the team would cooperate.
“As an organization whose mission is to support and celebrate the tremendously talented women in our league, we take seriously our responsibility to hold ourselves to the highest professional standards,” the Aces said in a statement at the time.
The W.N.B.A. season begins Friday.
This is breaking news. This article will be updated.