WNBA player Skylar Diggins-Smith took to Twitter recently to express her frustrations with the league after facing criticism for taking the 2019 season off to deal with postpartum depression.
The four-time WNBA All-Star who currently plays point guard for the Dallas Wings, welcomed a son with her husband Daniel in April. Since her son’s birth, Diggins-Smith has focused on retaining her strength, with a strong emphasis on her mental health.
Having no support from your own organization is unfortunate
— Skylar Diggins-Smith (@SkyDigg4) October 18, 2019
“The blasts that disrespect of mothers (and our rights) in the WNBA is incredible. I can’t wait until you hear my story FROM ME!” she continued in a now deleted tweet.
People called me a quitter, said I gave up on my team, etc., etc.
Not knowing I took two FULL months away from everything because of postpartum depression. With limited resources to help me be successful mentally/physically.
But just wait though….KEEP THAT SAME ENERGY.
— Skylar Diggins-Smith (@SkyDigg4) October 19, 2019
Diggins-Smith’s revelation makes it clear that female athletes face separate challenges than their male counterparts. Serena Williams won the Australian Open in 2018 in the early stages of pregnancy, and like Diggins she told no one for months.
Track star Alyson Felix, the most decorated athlete in track and field, says that Nike penalized female athletes for getting pregnant and won a victory for them when Nike changed their policy after the outcry.
The physical and mental labor of feeling the need to hide your pregnancy in order to be taken seriously as an athlete adds to the mental anguish female sportsmen face.
In a preseason interview with The Dallas Morning News, Skylar spoke candidly regarding her feelings about returning to the court.
“You miss the game, and you miss being around this big passion of yours,” Diggins-Smith said. “But you have something in your life that kind of takes precedence over everything, and it puts everything into perspective to just have fun and enjoy every moment.”
PHOTO: PR Photos
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