The WNBA is a league of ‘contractual divorces’
What most people don’t realize, or forget, is that it’s a legally binding document – thus turning it into a contract. However, despite how divorce is a break of contract and union, the thought of putting the two terms together was generally still an alien concept – until the WNBA started doing it.
For the second consecutive season, WNBA players have been involved in “contractual divorces” with their former teams. It’s as if the two sides broke up thanks to their divorce attorneys.
“NEWS: @LASparks Agreed to sign a divorce contract with Liz Cambage,” read the tweet from the group earlier this week.
“We share Liz Cambage’s decision to terminate her contract with the organization with support,” Eric Holoman, managing partner of Sparks said in a statement. “We wanted what was best for Liz and have agreed to part ways amicably. The Sparks remain excited about our core team and focused on running towards the 2022 playoff berth.”
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On Tuesday, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports sheds some light on how the story culminates in a “contract divorce” following a conflict over shirt number selection, criticism during movie screenings and the on-court jabs Cambage had with fellow players. her teammates. Things never got better in Los Angeles after reports emerged that the reason Cambage left the Australian National team ahead of the 2021 Olympics due to “mental health concerns” was because she called the players in the Nigerian national team are “monkeys” – which she still denies. Ironically, the heads of Sparks are Nigerian sisters Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike.
You can imagine how things played out in that dressing room, as it all led to a “contractual divorce” – something Tina Charles was also entangled in this season.
“After discussing it with Tina and her agent, it’s best for both parties to go our separate ways at this point.” wrote GM Jim Pitman of Phoenix in a statement. “Due to circumstances both within and beyond our control, our season has not gone according to our plans, and we will continue to pursue all avenues for improvement.”
After losing last season’s WNBA Finals, things didn’t go right for Mercury as their best player – Brittney Griner – was locked up in a prison in Russia for more than 160 days. Charles is out and she is currently playing for the Seattle Storm, who are in second place in the Western Conference.
If you’re a little confused about the process, here’s how it works.
Teams and players have the right to agree with each other to terminate the contract before the contract ends. The group must then request the waiver, followed by the commissioner’s approval. Once that is resolved and the player is exempt, the contract will be terminated and the player’s remaining wages will be reduced or eliminated. In simpler terms, it is like a buy-back contract after a player has requested to be released. And then both parties agreed on the amount and any debt, or not, owed.
And while Charles and Cambage have been in the headlines, there have been five “contract divorces” in the WNBA in 2022. There were only three last season.
Breakups are normal, and the rules – and contracts – have been broken. But over the past two seasons, the WNBA has given us a new term. And so, the next time a relationship, business deal, job, or situation isn’t going your way, redirect your introspection between Liz Cambage and Tina Charles and look for a “divorce agreement” “.