Two-time Sixth Player of the Year Dearica Hamby disclosed more details regarding the alleged discrimination she faced from her former team, its coach and the WNBA in a formal complaint, according to multiple reports. The documents reportedly detail retaliation and misconduct from all parties, due to her pregnancy.
Hamby, who spent eight seasons with the Las Vegas Aces organization, filed a gender discrimination complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last week, as first reported by the Washington Post.
Other reports say she also filed the complaint to the Nevada Equal Rights Commission. Both actions took place on Sept. 22, according to CBS Sports.
The 29-year-old mom of two reportedly alleges the Aces and head coach Becky Hammon created an “abusive and hostile” work environment before ultimately trading her to the Los Angeles Sparks on Jan. 21.
She would have dealt with the alleged mistreatment for months, as she announced her second pregnancy during festivities in September 2022 for the Aces franchise’s first WNBA championship win. She played while pregnant with her son, Legend, and also has a 6-year-old daughter named Amaya.
The day her trade was announced, Hamby took to social media to share the “traumatic” experience of “Being lied to, bullied, manipulated, and discriminated against” leading up to that point. Her statement also included allegations of “disgusting comments.” She claimed to be falsely accused of signing her two-year contract extension that summer while knowingly pregnant, as well.
Her comments evoked an investigation by the WNBA, which ultimately resulted in Hammon being suspended for two games and the Aces forfeiting a future draft pick.
Hamby’s recent filing provides previously undisclosed detail, reportedly claiming that Hammon asked her if she planned her pregnancy while telling Hamby she was “not holding up (her) end of the bargain” after signing a two-year extension last year.
This exchange with Hammon is reportedly included in the filing:
“On January 17, 2023, I received a call from Hammon during which she told me that my “time with the Aces is up” and I was being traded and that it was best for my career. She told me, “I can send you somewhere like Connecticut or Indiana, or you can pick a place, like Los Angeles.” During this conversation, I stated twice to Hammon, “You’re trading me because I am pregnant?” Hammon responded, “What do you want me to do?”
The recently minted Basketball Hall of Hamer denied allegations of pregnancy discrimination toward Hamby after the league’s disciplinary action was announced. Among other things, Hammon said she had a “great relationship” with Hamby that could have led her to feel betrayed.
Beyond Hammon’s alleged insensitivity, the Aces organization is reportedly now accused of attempting to obtain Hamby’s private OBGYN medical records even after she left the team.
The WNBA is named because it allegedly failed to properly investigate her allegations as a form of retaliation for her public comments.
“The investigation also did not result in any tangible remedy to me,” Hamby reportedly wrote in the filing. “Moreover, I do not believe the investigation sought to uncover the truth about my allegations that I was discriminated against for being pregnant.”
Hamby returned to the court less than three months after giving birth, citing a desire to prove something to herself and advocate for women’s rights.
She went on to suit up for every single Sparks game this season, averaging 8.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 24.7 minutes per matchup.
Her complaint will be investigated by the EEOC, which may attempt to resolve the matter through mediation, per the Associated Press. If mediation fails or if the commission does not find reasonable evidence of discrimination or retaliation, it will reportedly issue a “right to sue” letter. At that point, Hamby would have 90 days to file a lawsuit in federal or state court.