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Los Angeles Sparks forward Dearica Hamby has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the Las Vegas Aces and the WNBA, according to documents obtained by CBS Sports. The lawsuit, which was filed to the Nevada Equal Rights Commission and the EEOC on Sept. 22, alleges that Hamby faced retaliation for becoming pregnant. 

The WNBA issued a statement regarding Hamby's lawsuit to CBS Sports on Thursday:

"The league conducted a thorough investigation of the allegations and levied appropriate discipline based on its findings."

Hamby, who was traded to the Sparks on Jan. 21, had previously made similar allegations on social media, stating that the Aces falsely accused her of signing her two-year contract extension in the summer of 2022 while knowingly pregnant. Her comments prompted investigations from both the WNBPA and the league. 

Just prior to the start of the season, on May 17, the league announced that Aces head coach Becky Hammon would be suspended two games for violating the league's respect in the workplace policies. In addition, the Aces had their 2025 first-round pick stripped over promises of impermissible benefits in connection with negotiations regarding Hamby's contract. 

"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 at the time. "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."  

Hamby's lawsuit goes into further detail regarding the timeline and alleged mistreatment from the Aces. In the filing, Hamby states that she signed her extension on June 28, 2022, and did not discover she was pregnant until July 18, 2022. She says she then disclosed the information to the Aces and Hammon on Aug. 6, 2022, and had her pregnancy confirmed by a doctor on Aug. 8, 2022. 

After which, Hamby says the Aces "began to retaliate against me and caused the work environment to become unreasonably abusive and hostile." Hamby states the Aces accused her of signing the extension while knowingly pregnant, not keeping up with her workouts and not being commmitted to the team. Hamby strongly denied all such claims. Furthermore, Hammon allegedly told Hamby that she doubted she would be ready to play in the 2023 season and wasn't holding up her end of the bargain.

Hamby's filing also sheds further light on her trade to the Sparks:

On January 17, 2023, I received a call from Hammon during which she told 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?"

In addition, Hamby makes additional, previously un-publicized claims against the Aces, which include, but are not limited to, the team attempting to obtain private OBGYN medical records even after she was no longer a member of the organization. 

While the league investigated Hamby's initial allegations and delivered a punishment to Hammon and the Aces, her lawsuit claims that "the investigation also did not result in any tangible remedy to me. Moreover, I do not believe the investigation sought to uncover the truth about my allegations that I was discriminated against for being pregnant, and I believe the Respondent WNBA, LLC failed to properly investigate my claims as a form of retaliation for my public statements."

Per a league source, the WNBA's investigation was conducted by two former prosecutors, and they interviewed everyone they thought would have relevant information, including everyone suggested by the WNBPA. 

Hammon, for her part, denied Hamby's initial accusations in May, telling reporters "I don't recall my relationship with Hamby being anything but on the up-and-up." In a statement also released in May, the Aces said they were "deeply disappointed" by the league's decision and pushed back on the investigation's findings.

Hamby, 29, played in all 40 of the Sparks' games this season after her son was born on March 15. She took the floor when the season opened on May 19 and posted per game averages of 8.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists while playing 24.7 minutes per contest. Los Angeles finished 17-23 and did not make the playoffs. Las Vegas, meanwhile, finished the regular season at 34-6, and earned the top seed the playoffs. On Sunday, the defending champion Aces will host the New York Liberty in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals.