The investigation into Riquna Williams by the WNBA comes to a close.
Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams will be suspended without pay for 10 games as a result of her April 29 arrest on two felony charges of domestic violence, the WNBA announced Tuesday.
The arrest stems from allegations dating back to last December, when Williams allegedly assaulted Alkeria Davis and threatened her with a firearm. Though Williams’ criminal case is ongoing in Florida, the WNBA said it concluded judgment based upon its own investigation into the situation.
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“The WNBA conducted its own internal investigation into this matter, including interviews of Williams and several witnesses,” said the league in a press release. “The WNBA also consulted with a panel of experts in the field of domestic violence, upon whom the league relies in connection with such matters.
“Based on the investigation, consultation, and a careful weighing of all the facts and circumstances, the WNBA determined that a ten-game suspension was appropriate. Among other factors, the WNBA took into account the nature and seriousness of the conduct at issue, including the involvement of a firearm. The WNBA will also require Williams to participate in counseling.”
The Sparks released a statement Tuesday afternoon which said: “The Los Angeles Sparks were informed today that the WNBA has suspended guard Riquna Williams for 10 games beginning with Thursday’s game at Staples Center. The Sparks have cooperated fully with the league’s investigation. As an organization, we abhor violence of any kind and specifically take domestic violence allegations very seriously. We will provide whatever resources we are allowed to help Riquna learn and grow from this unfortunate situation.”
According to Williams’ agent, Orlando Castaño, the league had been seeking to suspend Williams utilizing Article XIV of the WNBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, Player Conduct and Discipline. This information was reported by Tamryn Spruill of Swish Appeal earlier this month.
WNBPA executive director Terri Jackson objected to the move by the league, telling the Associated Press: “We are disappointed with the league’s actions. There is an ongoing criminal proceeding and in fairness to the player, the league could have and should have awaited its completion before taking any action. Riquna has not had a fair opportunity to fully defend herself. We are immediately filing a grievance and will seek the arbitrator’s review.”
In the past, the league also did not wait for criminal proceedings to play out before disciplining players. Most notably, Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson, both WNBA players, were each suspended seven games in 2015 before Johnson’s criminal case was settled.
Williams’ suspension will begin Thursday when Los Angeles takes on the Dallas Wings. She is set to return August 22 at home against the Indiana Fever.
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