Aces’ Becky Hyman Was Penalized For Violating WNBA’s Respect In The Workplace Rules And Her Defense Fell Tragically

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Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hyman came off as defiant and defensive morning during a virtual media session ahead the WNBA regular season beginning this week.

While she loved talking about the Aces' roster as they defend the 2022 league championship, the call focused mostly on Tuesday's news that the WNBA fired her before the regular season for violating the league's respect in the workplace rules. Hammon was suspended for two matches. and docked their 2025 first-round draft pick to the Aces for “permissible leverage”.

The two investigations were touched off earlier this year by claims by Diorica Hamby that she was traded by the Aces to Los Angeles because she was pregnant with her second child. Hyman insisted that Hamby was dealt because the team could get “three bodies” in exchange for the two-time Sixth Player of the Year and for the same amount as Hamby's salary, and that the move was just trade.

It is understandable that Hamon will be on the defensive. She became known as a player's coach and the highest-paid coach in league history, having been lured from her job as a San Antonio Spurs assistant by Aces owner Mark Davis and training the WNBA's first dedicated team. There is convenience.

But there is a lot in it that seems strange.

Starting with Hamon's implication that Hamby may have “tampered” with screenshots of communications between himself and the player.

Hyman said, “There has never been a single bad text or email between me and Diorica Hamby. I don't email my players, I talk to them directly. We exchange texts.” “But anything that is less than up-and-up is false and not true by anyone in this organization. That is not how we do business, it is not who we are.

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“But I've learned recently that people can, uh, screenshot or I don't know what — like set up a conversation, they can text their friend some stuff and frame it and say ‘coach. Hyman' or whatever or [Aces team president] ‘Nikki Fargas' at the top of the screen and the Doctor does things the way he wants the Doctor to. This is the world we live in. But those allegations are completely false.”

When given a chance to clarify or correct those comments after a few questions, Hyman doubled down and didn't sound very convincing.

Hyman said, “I'm saying that I do not believe that anyone in our organization sent any bad messages to Diorica Hamby.” “Like I said, when you're dealing with a really difficult conversation I think things can turn really quickly.”

At the time he was traded nearly five months ago, Hamby posted goodbye and thanked Las Vegas fans on his Instagram feed. The post also included a lengthy statement in which she said she was “heartbroken”.

“Doing business is part of business. Lying, bullying, manipulating and discriminating is not,” she wrote. Hamby detailed some of the alleged things she was told after telling her team she was pregnant, including that she was “not taking precautions not to be pregnant” after revealing that This was not a planned pregnancy.

“To be treated this way by an organization, by women who are mothers who claim to have been ‘in these shoes', who preach family, chemistry and women empowerment, is disappointing and makes me sick to my stomach leaves,” Hamby also wrote.

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He never named the person or people he felt were insulting him. The WNBA statement on Tuesday named Hammon, who made the comment to Hamby, on punishment.

Hyman insisted Wednesday that the WNBA found the WNBA punitive in itself by asking Hamby about the pregnancy.

Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hyman has been suspended two games without pay for violating league and team's honor in the workplace policies. The violation was related to comments made by Hammon to Dierica Hamby regarding the player's recent pregnancy. (AP Photo/John Locke, Filer)

The league said it spoke to 33 people and reviewed “texts, emails and other documents” as part of the investigation. To the best of his knowledge, Hammon said, no players on last year's Aces roster were questioned by investigators, including star Eja Wilson. According to Hammon, Liz Cambage, who did not play for Hammon in Las Vegas, was interviewed. The league denied that claim.

Of course, it's entirely possible that the Aces players would not have told Hyman if they had spoken to investigators, as they have a right to.

The league told Yahoo Sports that the investigation was being conducted by a prosecutor for the Southern District of New York and another from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. It reportedly included a list of individuals that was at least partially provided by the WNBA Players Association.

The WNBA, specifically the WNBPA, has drawn praise in recent years for being the most progressive American professional sports league, no matter how little it once was. Part of that is protecting players who become pregnant in the collective bargaining agreement. But it is not as easy to legislate how they are to be understood and treated if they become pregnant. Hamby and the other moms in the league are an inspiration to many, especially an older generation of women, athletes or not, who have long felt they had to choose: career or kids.

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Hamby; Skylar Diggins-Smith, who just welcomed her second child; Jamaican world 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce; And several members of the US women's soccer team are among a growing group proving that it is possible to return to elite athlete status after having children.

After watching Hammon via Zoom on Wednesday and video of Hamby talking on Tuesday, it's hard not to feel that this isn't a black eye for a league that's finally getting the recognition it longs for. deserves, not only for its advocacy efforts but its exceptional products.

For his part, Hamby told reporters in Los Angeles on Tuesday that he is ready to move forward with the Sparks.

“I am healthy, I am happy, my son is healthy,” He said, “And I'll be playing this season.”