OT: Sparks Player Arrested for Burglary & Assault

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UConnNick

from Vince Lombardi's home town
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Well, the league is a mess right now. The teams are bleeding money, their players have opted out of their CBA and want to be paid, many of their biggest stars aren't playing, they can't make up their mind how to market or who to market to, and no one's in charge.
All true. I read an article, possibly about five years ago, that predicted the WNBA would fold in five years. It hasn't happened just yet, but if it happens before January, the author was right. I don't give much credence to those kinds of articles, but it could still happen, and it looks more likely with each passing day. You can't run a purported major league with crowds about in the range of minor league baseball.

It would likely be a godsend to many of the players already playing overseas...no more year round play and low pay, a five month summer vacation, getting paid what you're really worth, and learning many things about the world and future job or business opportunities.
 
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Not defending Williams actions, but according to the report, she never pointed the gun at anyone. Rather she laid it on the hood of her vehicle and threatened to give all 18. This could even be interpreted as a warning to the guy there to keep his distance. Kind of a self-defense threat.
Well isn't this a creative interpretation. And the verdict:
44680
 
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All true. I read an article, possibly about five years ago, that predicted the WNBA would fold in five years. It hasn't happened just yet, but if it happens before January, the author was right. I don't give much credence to those kinds of articles, but it could still happen, and it looks more likely with each passing day. You can't run a purported major league with crowds about in the range of minor league baseball.

It would likely be a godsend to many of the players already playing overseas...no more year round play and low pay, a five month summer vacation, getting paid what you're really worth, and learning many things about the world and future job or business opportunities.
Well I hope it survives and learns how to thrive. Gives young players something to aspire to, even if at present it can turn out to be a lifestyle demotion from a big-time college program. Tough growing pains right now.
 
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Let us be realistic. None of the suspensions of players in the other leagues would have happened except those leagues were afraid of serious PR repercussions. It wasn't until the video of Rice knocking out his girlfriend in the elevator went viral that the NFL took even minimal action. And it was only due to public outrage of a slap on the wrist one-game suspension that the league enacted their no tolerance policy. The WNBA is not really high profile enough and not too many people care. The only place that any outrage is being even discussed is on these message boards. I don't believe the league took any action in respect to Griner and Johnsons DV incident either.

Not defending Williams actions, but according to the report, she never pointed the gun at anyone. Rather she laid it on the hood of her vehicle and threatened to give all 18. This could even be interpreted as a warning to the guy there to keep his distance. Kind of a self-defense threat.
From my time working in the district courts, I am thinking Williams actions would constitute brandishing a weapon (without actually pointing it or targeting someone) which in some states, it's a felony and other states, it is a misdemeanor, and would go to intent of the person. However, the moment that she threatened to "give all 18" that very likely would kick it up to a felony unless some really good attorney could mount, as you stated, a self-defense motive...
 

RockyMTblue2

Don't Look Up!
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"A source close to the situation who wishes to stay anonymous because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter informed Swish Appeal the WNBA has concluded its investigation into Riquna Williams’ domestic violence arrest and is prepared to announce its findings imminently, along with any punishment, which is expected to be a suspension. "

UPDATE: Riquna Williams has given a statement to WNBA investigators, per source

Background. NBA wants her suspended. Agent: The NBA is seeking suspension against Riquna Williams
 
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"A source close to the situation who wishes to stay anonymous because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter informed Swish Appeal the WNBA has concluded its investigation into Riquna Williams’ domestic violence arrest and is prepared to announce its findings imminently, along with any punishment, which is expected to be a suspension. "

UPDATE: Riquna Williams has given a statement to WNBA investigators, per source

Background. NBA wants her suspended. Agent: The NBA is seeking suspension against Riquna Williams
WOW, the season is almost half over. The league sure took their sweet time conducting their investigation in this case that happened 46 days ago. An investigation that appears to be in response to the backlash/pressure from the NBA, fans and the news media. One has to admit that Williams being allowed to play pending the resolution of this case is uncommon in today's world. If a player from the NBA, NFL or MLB had committed a similar act, they NEVER would have sniffed the playing field, let alone be allowed to play.

In most other professional sports leagues, if you are arrested for anything, you are suspended pending an investigation/review by the league and the team. I don't believe this matter slipped through the cracks. The team knew about it (she was signed AFTER this happened), and I'm sure policy dictated that the team forward formal notice of the matter to the league office for review.

I don't know what happened that allowed her to not only be signed, but play as well. The way in which this matter was handled IS NOT a good look for the league or the team. No doubt the team has/will take a PR hit for it. I'm sure league and team policies will be either created or amended to cover future occurrences of this nature.
 
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In today's THE DAY it was reported that the WNBA suspended R. Williams for 10 games for domestic violence!
The player' union said they would file a grievance on Williams behalf! I understand the union serves the rights of the players and everyone evolved has been interviewed what is there for the players union to defend?
IMHO it's cut and dried! Is the union going to use an OJ defense, "If the gloves don't fit you must acquit!"
 
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She should have been suspended before the season started.
The Sparks should have to forfeit any games she played in.
 

TheFarmFan

Stanford Fan, Huskies Admirer
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She should have been suspended before the season started.
The Sparks should have to forfeit any games she played in.
I'm not sure how this works now that the players have opted out of their CBA, but ordinarily in pro leagues disciplinary matters not related to team conduct are supposed to be handled by the league, not the team, because otherwise every team has an incentive to shirk its responsibility (see, e.g., NFL and Goodell constantly being dragged into double-standards battles as different teams and players argue player X on team Y got a more lenient penalty than player A on team B). So I don't know if the Sparks even could have even if they wanted to.

But I also don't think it makes sense for the Sparks to have to forfeit anything - unless she is banned for life for her off-the-court conduct, whether she missed the first 10 games of the season or the next 10, the Sparks are still without her for 10 games. Now that we know what her "punishment" should be, her prior participation is irrelevant from that standpoint.

I know due process is unpopular on both sides of the aisle in these twitter-trigger-happy times, but it's the foundation of our system for a reason.
 
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I'm not sure how this works now that the players have opted out of their CBA, but ordinarily in pro leagues disciplinary matters not related to team conduct are supposed to be handled by the league, not the team, because otherwise every team has an incentive to shirk its responsibility (see, e.g., NFL and Goodell constantly being dragged into double-standards battles as different teams and players argue player X on team Y got a more lenient penalty than player A on team B). So I don't know if the Sparks even could have even if they wanted to.

But I also don't think it makes sense for the Sparks to have to forfeit anything - unless she is banned for life for her off-the-court conduct, whether she missed the first 10 games of the season or the next 10, the Sparks are still without her for 10 games. Now that we know what her "punishment" should be, her prior participation is irrelevant from that standpoint.
I believe the WNBA CBA is still in effect until the end of the season.
 
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I believe the WNBA CBA is still in effect until the end of the season.
Correct. Under a provision in their CBA, the players decided to opt out of their existing CBA. However, the terms and conditions of the current CBA are still in effect until the end of this season when the CBA expires. The opt out only means that they will not be renewing the existing CBA, but rather will negotiate a new contract.
 
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She should have been suspended before the season started.
The Sparks should have to forfeit any games she played in.
This would have been violative of the player's protective rights of her CBA with the WNBA. There are some notable exceptions, for example, imminent danger or harm, but other than those situations, she could not have been suspended without appropriate due process being followed per the contract. The Sparks have no requirement to assess penalties of the league per the CBA, and therefore it was the league's responsibility to act, not the Sparks. The exception would have been whether the Sparks felt that the player violated team rules, and engaged in the age old "conduct detrimental to the team."
 
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Another very informative, well-balanced article by SI's legal expert:


1. Putting the 10-game suspension into context and why the WNBPA is appealing
2. The grievance process that awaits Williams
3. Six likely legal arguments by the WNBA in the grievance
4. Six likely legal arguments by Williams and the WNBPA in the grievance
 

CamrnCrz1974

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Another very informative, well-balanced article by SI's legal expert:


1. Putting the 10-game suspension into context and why the WNBPA is appealing
2. The grievance process that awaits Williams
3. Six likely legal arguments by the WNBA in the grievance
4. Six likely legal arguments by Williams and the WNBPA in the grievance
@Plebe , thank you for sharing this link. As someone who practices labor and employment law (and who has done so for government agencies that have classified service/covered employees and an administrative appellate mechanism for disciplinary actions), I wanted to add a few thoughts.

Regarding the potential legal arguments for Williams/WNBPA, SI Legal Expert Michael McCann states:

Second, we don’t yet know her legal defenses. Williams might convincingly argue that she had a legal right to enter the residence (which, if true, would defeat the burglary charge). She could also maintain that Davis and Wilson were the aggressors and that the gun-brandishing part of the narrative was greatly exaggerated.

The imposition of a WNBA suspension before the legal process arguably plays out therefore presents an uncomfortable risk: if Williams is later exonerated in court, the WNBA will have punished an innocent player.
This goes back to one of the points that I have made on Rebkell and in discussions with friends. A criminal conviction is not the same process as an administrative disciplinary action in the workplace, nor does it have nearly the same burden of proof.

In the criminal context, it is possible that Williams may not be convicted on any or all of the criminal charges. Perhaps witnesses refuse to testify. Maybe there was a procedural defect. Perhaps the government-obtained physical evidence was obtained improperly/illegally/under coercion, thus making any after-acquired evidence "fruit of the poisonous tree" and inadmissible. Or maybe a jury simply finds Williams to be a more credible witness, should the case proceed to trial.

Even if Williams is found to be "not guilty," that does not mean she is "innocent." A "not guilty" criminal verdict simply means that the prosecution did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt to the tribunal.

In the administrative discipline process, I have always suggested that investigations have specific categories of terminology for their findings, pertaining to the specific allegations: -- unfounded, exonerated, unresolved, or sustained. This is how I define (generally speaking) those terms.

TERM
DEFINITION
Unfounded
It is found the reported misconduct (or conduct) or behavior did not occur or did not occur as alleged

Exonerated

The incident occurred, but the conduct or behavior was lawful and proper.

Unresolved

There is insufficient evidence to either prove or disprove the allegation.

– OR –​

The inquiry into this allegation is inactivated pending development of further information.

Sustained

The allegation is supported by sufficient evidence to justify a reasonable conclusion the alleged misconduct/inappropriate behavior occurred.


For Williams to be "innocent" (using the word from the article linked above) -- which means the allegations would be unfounded in the administrative context and she could thus avoid any punishment -- she must have an argument akin to: "I was not there (or it was not me). Here is indisputable proof that I was nowhere in the vicinity of the residence where this incident took place on that date/time or at any point relevant to the allegations involved here."

An employer can impose an administrative disciplinary action, irrespective of whether there is a conviction in the criminal context. The issue is whether an employee engaged in the underlying conduct (or there is reasonable evidence to demonstrate that he/she did) and whether that conduct violates the employer's policies or employee handbook provisions.

In other words, a "sustained" allegation in the administrative context can occur before the criminal proceedings have taken place or reached a conclusion, or it can occur even if there is a "not guilty" finding in the criminal proceedings.
 
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I think the teams need to start taking responsibility for the players, not just the league. The Sparks did zero in regards to Williams. They let the league handle it just to help the team

Someone said a way to get people interested in the league maybe to have the WNBA games played before the NBA games. I think that may get fans in the seats.
 
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