Laurel J. Richie, the first African-American to lead a major sports league, has decided to resign as president of the WNBA after four years on the job.
I am proud of what the WNBA has been able to accomplish during my tenure and am grateful for the opportunity to play my part in setting the stage for the 20th season and beyond, Richie said. I was fortunate to work with some very special people, from owners, to league and team staff, to the passionate fans of the WNBA, to the incredibly talented WNBA athletes. I will forever be a fan of the WNBA and a champion for all it stands for.
Richie’s departure comes after NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s recent admission of being disappointed with the development of the WNBA. Despite this, Richie deserves much respect for her dedication to expanding the popularity of women’s basketball. The league enters its 20th season next year and has become somewhat of a staple in summer sports.
NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum will oversee the WNBA on an interim basis while the League starts its search for a new commissioner.