WNBA suspends Aces coach Becky Hammon after former player alleged she was mistreated for being pregnant

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The WNBA on Tuesday suspended Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon after a former player alleged she was bullied and manipulated for being pregnant.

The league’s monthslong investigation led to a two-game suspension for Hammon after it determined the coach violated league and team respect in the workplace policies. The Aces’ first-round pick in 2025 was also rescinded for a violation of the league’s impermissible player benefits.

“It is critical that we uphold the values of integrity and fairness, which create a level playing field for our teams,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement. 

“The Aces failed to adhere to league rules and regulations and have been disciplined accordingly. We are also disheartened by the violation of our respect in the workplace policies and remain committed to ensuring that enhanced training is conducted and standards are followed across all WNBA teams.”


The punishment stemmed from former player Dearica Hamby claiming the organization had an issue with her pregnancy and it led to a trade.

“Being traded is a part of the business. Being lied to, bullied, manipulated and discriminated against is not,” she wrote on Instagram in January. “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 I was a ‘question mark’ and that it was set that 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 workout (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.’”

Hamby added that her situation with the Aces had 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,” she added. “We fought for provisions that would finally support and protect player parents. This cannot now be used against me.”

Hamby was also the WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year in 2019 and 2020. She averaged 9.3 points and 7.1 rebounds as the Aces won the championship in 2022. She was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks in the offseason.

The impermissible benefits discipline came for negotiations for an extension of Hambry’s contract. She had signed a two-year extension last year before the Jan. 21 trade.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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