“How disgraceful is it that the [Phoenix Mercury] handle couldn’t even pretend to wish [Skylar Diggins-Smith a happy birthday? [It’s] such an irresponsible action that could have been avoided,” one fan tweeted.
Diggins-Smith is currently on maternity leave and taking time away from basketball to focus on her health and family. However, she was able to see the message and took time to reply. According to the star guard, she has not been able to access the team’s facility since she went on maternity leave.
“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, [b]ut I still love the X-Factor,” she answered.
“It was all good when I was leaving for personal time! But when I’m leaving [because] I was having complications and scared of risking my child while leading the league in minutes (pregnant),” she added in a separate tweet.
Diggins-Smith’s comments traveled around social media quickly on Thursday as several fans, journalists and players criticized the franchise’s treatment of the point guard while on maternity leave.
The fact that Skylar Diggins-Smith, a 6X WNBA All-Star, had to workout in a local YMCA because she didn’t have access to her team’s training facilities.
— Khristina Williams (@Khristina) August 3, 2023
The 2nd public accusation of mistreatment due to pregnancy after the @TheWNBPA said that pregnancy protections was one of their goals in the last CBA. The league and WNBPA need to step in https://t.co/lLSjhMgyU5
— AlisonSøns (@alisondenae) August 3, 2023
At this time, the Mercury, WNBA nor the WNBPA have issued a public comment regarding the matter.