NEW YORK (AP) — The WNBA and several angry players fired back at former NBA guard Gilbert Arenas, who suggested that they play in undergarments to improve the popularity of the league.
Skylar Diggins, who Arenas referenced above, is a professional player with the Dallas Wings, formerly known as the Tulsa Shock, became popular on the hip hop scene when rapper Lil Wayne announced he had a crush on the star when she played at the University of Notre Dame, even going so far as to show up to almost every game, wearing her jersey.
Spokesman Mike Bass responded to the comments in a statement Wednesday on behalf of the NBA and the WNBA, saying, “Gilbert Arenas’ comments are repugnant, utterly disrespectful and flat-out wrong. WNBA players are strong, talented and determined individuals who give it their all on the court and serve as inspiring role models to millions around the world.
“They should be celebrated for their accomplishments, not disparaged with ignorant insults.”
Arenas, a 33-year-old former three-time NBA All-Star who was suspended for most of the 2009-10 season after violating league rules on handguns, when he and former Wizards teammate Javaris Chrittenton brought handguns to the locker room in dispute over a card game. Crittendon has since pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter in a 2011 shooting and is in jail
Arenas said in an Instagram post that having players play in skimpy underwear would help the league.
His comments angered players, prompting Swin Cash, Ivory Latta, Elena Delle Donne and others to respond to Arenas via social media.
The WNBA, launched in 1996 following the Atlanta Olympics, is about to embark on its 20th season.
(Photo Source: AP, Vogue Instagram)