Skylar Diggins-Smith isn’t going to quit fighting for working moms in the WNBA — a subject she knows about better than most — and she’s not ready to be done with the Dallas Wings, either.
Diggins-Smith revealed in a series of tweets last month that she played the entirety of the 2018 season for the Wings while pregnant, and “didn’t tell a soul.” She seemingly didn’t miss a beat, either, averaging nearly 18 points and 6.2 assists per game while making her fourth All-Star game. She gave birth to her son this spring, and took two months off while battling postpartum depression.
Diggins-Smith missed all of the 2019 season, though was paid her full salary. She expressed extreme frustration in those tweets with the Wings organization over a “lack of support” both during her pregnancy and after, saying she felt the Wings didn’t have proper resources available for her. Wings president Greg Bibb has since said that the team employed licensed psychologists for all players after their move to Dallas in 2016, via ESPN.
“I usually don’t use Twitter as a journal about what I’m thinking. I try not to emotional-tweet,” Diggins-Smith said Friday, via ESPN. “But I think that day I had just … I got it off my chest. I’m ready to put some action towards the conditions for working moms in the league and every industry.”
Diggins-Smith has spent seven years now with the Wings organization, having played her first three seasons in the league with the team while they were still in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is due to become a free agent this offseason.
However, under the current CBA, Dallas could keep Diggins-Smith for one more year with a “core player” designation and guarantee her a maximum salary, per ESPN. The WNBA and the WNBA Players Association extended current negotiations for a new CBA through the end of the year last month, as it was set to expire in October.
While it may sound like Diggins-Smith wants out of the organization, she said that’s absolutely not the case.
“Sometimes when you’re not being heard, you’ve got to shout,” Diggins-Smith said, via ESPN. “I’ve never told the Wings that I didn’t want to play for them next year. I said the conditions of our organization need to be improved. I was very transparent. We haven’t had a conversation about free agency or about coring, because we really don’t know.
“I’ve been with the organization the longest. I’ve always felt like I’ve shown loyalty to Dallas, so when I’m asking for things, that stuff should be reciprocated. I’m going to continue to fight for this.”
As the two sides work to agree on a new CBA, Diggins-Smith said she will make sure conditions for working moms in the league is brought up.
“I’ve already reached out to a few moms [in the league],” Diggins-Smith said, via ESPN. “As we negotiate with the CBA, how can we improve things? It’s about prioritization. We can’t have everything. But I’m going to bring that portion to the table because I’m a mom.”
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