Thirteen-year WNBA veteran Cappie Pondexter, who announced her retirement from professional basketball in April, has criticized the WNBA twice this week for not better supporting the league’s players.
Earlier this week, Pondexter took to Instagram to share her thoughts regarding the WNBA not treating its players with their due respect, after attending Sunday’s (June 16) Los Angeles Sparks vs. New York Liberty game which sparked controversy via a now-deleted post.
The controversy arose when a fan pointed out on Twitter that during the game NBA players and celebrities were acknowledged, but not two retired WNBA players (Pondexter and Monique Currie) who were both sitting courtside.
“WNBA I know you guys don’t control what really happens at games, but it’s safe to say your first priority should always be us, women who served to keep the brand growing over the last 14 years,” Pondexter originally wrote as a Tweet that she shared a screenshot of on Instagram. “I didn’t even realize until tweets [from fans] came in. Let’s do better for our game.”
“Thanks, @mocurrie [Monique Currie, 12-year WNBA veteran] for stepping up and letting it be known. @WNBA we have to do better. Not putting u guys on blast just giving informative information so we can help the game continue to grow. Bigger than the now trust me,” Pondexter wrote as her caption to the post.
“During tonight’s Sparks game every NBA player that was there was recognized during the game along with every C list celebrity. 2 retired WNBA players were sitting courtside…and they were not acknowledged at all. Way to show us fans your priorities & focus @WNBA @LA_Sparks,” the fan, Kenicia Cross tweeted.
Currie caught wind of the tweet, retweeted it, and commented, “Honestly, I don’t even want to be on camera. I was enjoying the game but this is very true. WNBA players at a @wnba game and y’all worried about showing Rodney Hood & Rudy Gobert (no disrespect) but not @cappa23 [Pondexter],” Currie tweeted, which is what Pondexter was referring to in the caption of the post with her tweet that she reshared on Instagram.
Currie declined to comment when Beasley Media Group reached out, stating that she’s “not particularly concerned with it.”
Cross, a Los Angeles-based media training facilitator, exclusively told Beasley Media Group that she wasn’t attempting to put the WNBA on blast, but she simply wanted to bring light to an ongoing issue.
“I definitely don’t want to speak ill about the WNBA or the teams at all. I hope that this would have the opposite effect,” Cross said. “I do understand how it works in terms of the league, really is not playing a big role in terms of what happened in the game. I know each individual team has in-house operations.”
Cross said that she attended the game, and during some point, they did a pan of the crowd and highlighted different celebrities that were there. Cross said that they highlighted actors, Vivica A. Fox and Taye Diggs, alongside a few other celebrities, but failed to acknowledge Pondexter and Currie.
“What made it even more eye-opening for me was the fact that when I tweeted it out both players hadn’t even thought about it,” Cross explained. “It kind of showed me that they didn’t even expect to be acknowledged because it’s not something that has been happening in the WNBA.”
Cross said that although she understands the value of highlighting NBA players and other celebrities who support the WNBA, she feels that WNBA players deserve to receive the same love and recognition.
“You can’t leave out the players that paved the way, are still giving back, and are still supporting,” Cross said. “Show them that same love, and show them the value that they have too with bringing more fans to the WNBA league,” Cross continued.
On Tuesday, June 18 at another LA Sparks game, Brianna Stewart, a Seattle Storm forward was in attendance and was acknowledged during the game, according to Cross, and on the WNBA’s Instagram page, writing, “Hey Stewie @breannastewart30 sitting courtside in L.A. for some #WNBA action tonight,” as their caption (check out the photo below).
Pondexter then shared a screenshot of the WNBA’s IG post in a now-deleted-post on her Instagram page and criticized the WNBA again, stating that her post had nothing to do with Stewart, who she’s a fan of.
“How can we possibly support a league that does this after a few days of discussion with Currie and I at the LA Sparks game. This isn’t funny to me. Total disrespect to my years of service and whoever runs the social and posted this have no clue the kinda drama started by it,” Pondexter wrote as her caption (check out the full post that Girl Talk Sports TV captured below).
When Beasley Media reached out to Pondexter, she had yet to respond prior to publication. Cross wasn’t the only fan who took note of what transpired at the LA Sparks game(s). Another fan took to Twitter to mention that other celebrities were at the game, but she didn’t care about meeting them because she spotted Currie, who obliged to taking a photo with her (check out the tweet below).
Pondexter, a former point guard previously played for WNBA teams including the LA Sparks, Indiana Fever, Chicago Sky, and New York Liberty. During Currie’s WNBA stint she also played for the Sky, Washington Mystics, and the Phoenix Mercury, among other teams.