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WNBA to look into Las Vegas Aces cap

The Women’s National Basketball Association is currently investigating the 2022 WNBA champions, the Las Vegas Aces, for allegations regarding under-the-table payments to players. Photo courtesy of Lorie Shaull

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is currently investigating the 2022 WNBA champions, the Las Vegas Aces, for allegations regarding under-the-table payments to players.  

According to an article by The Next, the Aces are accused of having calls with free agents and current players to discuss contract extensions. The Next mentions that the Aces were offering a specific amount of money from a preselected company that could later be negotiated. This would be a violation of the WNBA’s salary cap.  

If the allegations are proven to be true, ESPN explains it would lead to significant disciplinary actions by the WNBA since the New York Liberty were fined $500,000 for unsanctioned chartered flights to away games during the 2021 season. In the WNBA’s collective bargaining agreement, Article XV states that, “a team or team affiliate is not allowed to enter into an agreement in which a third party offers a player compensation for services.” 

After the Aces won the 2022 WNBA championships, the allegations began to rise. During the offseason, the Las Vegas Aces signed two-time MVP Candace Parker to a $100,000 contract and two-time WNBA champion Alysha Clark to a two-year $220,000 contract. The Aces have also resigned Kiah Stokes to a one-year $81,000 deal. 

“I am heartbroken. Being traded is a part of the business. Being lied to, bullied, manipulated, and discriminated against is not. 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 that I was ‘a question mark’ and that it was said that I said 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 work out (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.’ And ‘yeah we just don’t see that’ (with my return). I remained transparent with everyone within the organization, and yet, my honesty was met with coldness, disrespect, and disregard from members of management. I have only put this organization first since day one before any of them were here. ‘You’re getting moved regardless and It’s best for your career that you move on from the Aces’. The unprofessional and unethical way that I have been treated has 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. We fought for provisions that would finally support and protect player parents.” 

Jan. 21 the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) released a statement explaining that they are investigating for possible violations. All matters are now under investigation.

Katrina Villarreal is the multimedia editor and may be reached at [email protected]  

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About the Contributor
Katrina Villarreal, Multimedia Editor
Katrina Villarreal is senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in theatre at UTEP. She is going into her second year at The Prospector and is currently the Multimedia Editor. Once she graduates, she plans on becoming a sideline reporter for the NFL or ESPN.  
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WNBA to look into Las Vegas Aces cap