Becky Hammon denies allegations of pregnancy discrimination toward Dearica Hamby
Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon denied wrongdoing after the WNBA served her with a 2-game suspension stemming from comments she allegedly made to then-Aces player Dearica Hamby, who was pregnant at the time. Hammon revealed what part of the league’s Respect in the Workplace policy she was accused of violating and referenced the possibility of fabricated or doctored evidence against her.
- I handled Dearica with care from day one when she told me. And she knows that. And like I said, once I make the phone call that the decision has been made to move her, that's when everything kind of fell apart. When you're dealing with a really tough conversation, I think things can get twisted real quick. But I don't think there was like, any cursing or anything derogatory. That's my opinion. Obviously, she has a different opinion, and she's allowed to have that opinion. But that's not how I saw things go down with my conversation, and/or anybody else's.
- Did the league ever specify to you what part of the respect in the workplace policy they said you violated? That's not a public document, so I was just curious if they specifically-- if you could share what specifically they said you violated in it.
- Me asking about her pregnancy in a private conversation that I was having with Dearica. That's what they said. We made the decision to move Hamby because we could get three bodies in for her one contract, and we wanted to get three more people in. I think it's very evident who we signed on why we made the move, but it was never an issue. And it was never the reason she was traded. It just wasn't. It came down to math and business.
That's all it was. Nothing personal. Hamby, I mean, like I said, I had a great relationship with Hamby the whole time. Which is why she probably felt the way she did. It feels like a betrayal. But like I said, it's a crappy part of my job. But somebody's got to be the bearer of bad news. As much as I could sit there and say like, that's not how I deemed the conversation going, she deemed it another way. And for that, I do feel bad.
- There's been a lot of conversations about that there were text messages, and there's like proof that Dearica was mistreated. And I wondered at any point, have you had conversations within the ACS organizations about let's post some screenshots of text messages on social media to prove that we were on the up and up, as you said.
- Well, those are completely false. I never had one bad text between me and Dearica Hamby. But I did learn recently that people can screenshot or like, I don't know what, like, set up a conversation, they can have their friend text them certain things and frame it and put Coach Hammond or whoever or Nikki Fargas on the top of the screen, and just kind of doctor things the way they want to doctor. That's the world we live in. But every one of those accusations are vehemently false. I actually haven't seen that Dearica has said she received nasty texts from us. I haven't seen that. I think that's completely fabricated by somebody on the outside that doesn't know what the hell is going on.