“They’re Not Gonna Acknowledge Me” | Skylar Diggins-Smith Calls Out Phoenix Mercury For Locking Her Out Of Facility While On Maternity Leave

Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith called the organization out on X, formerly Twitter, Thursday for locking her out of the facility while she’s off on maternity leave. According to the six-time All-WNBA pro, the team won’t acknowledge her unless she’s playing.

Mercury Punishing Diggins-Smith?

In a response to a fan noting that the Mercury’s social media account didn’t wish Diggins-Smith “Happy Birthday this past week, she responded that the organization “per management” won’t acknowledge her.

“They’re not gonna acknowledge me this year and it’s OK guys. We’re not affiliated unless it’s the checks….per management. I can’t even use the practice facility or any resources.”

Diggins-Smith is in the final year of her four year deal, and per the collective bargaining agreement the Mercury must pay Diggins-Smith her entire salary while she’s on maternity leave.

By all reports they are doing that. But it seems strange and petty to not give her access to the facility and services the team provides. She’s still a member of the organization, despite being on maternity leave.

This is the latest incident in what can only be described as a strained relationship between Diggins-Smith and the Mercury.

Last season, she and then head coach Vanessa Nygaard were seen yelling at one another at halftime of a game. Diggins-Smith also got into a heated verbal spat with franchise icon and the first woman in the WNBA to score 10,000 points, Diana Taurasi. And Diggins-Smith implied Nygaard was a clown on Twitter after the coach’s comments regarding Taurasi not being named an All-Star.

There were reports that the Mercury wanted to trade her last season. But she was their most productive player last season.

Something Weird Happening In Phoenix

These incidents isolated are just part and parcel of a season. These types of things happen all the time. But something is off if you look at them together and now at what Diggins-Smith is alleging the Mercury are doing.

“It was all good when I was leaving for personal time!!” she posted. “But when I’m leaving bc I was having complications and scared of risking my child….while leading the league in minutes [pregnant]. Trade her?”

WNBPA executive director Terri Jackson said, “The PA has been in regular contact with Skylar through her representation throughout the year. We will continue to support her.”

The Mercury said, “Skylar is on maternity leave right now and as we do with players on maternity leave, we give them their space.”

Unless she returns from maternity leave before the season ends, which is unlikely, Diggins-Smith’s career in Phoenix is most likely over. She should be a coveted free agent come this offseason.

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