WNBA suspends LA Sparks guard Riquna Williams for 10 games after domestic violence allegation

Posted at 12:43 AM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 04:34:13-04

The WNBA suspended a Los Angeles Sparks player without pay on Tuesday because of a domestic violence allegation stemming from an incident in December, the league said.

Riquna Williams is suspended for 10 games, according to a statement on the WNBA’s website.

Williams was arrested April 29 on charges of burglary with assault or battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, online records from Palm Beach County in Florida show. The arrest stemmed from the December incident.

CNN has reached out to Williams’ attorney Daniel Riccardo Paige, but has not heard back.

The league said that it conducted its own inquiry into the incident, interviewing Williams and several witnesses.

“Among other factors, the WNBA took into account the nature and seriousness of the conduct at issue, including the involvement of a firearm,” the league said in its statement.

Williams will also be required to undergo counseling.

Her suspension was set to begin Thursday with the Sparks game against the Dallas Wings, if it is not appealed. The Womens’ National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) said it disagrees with the suspension and is filing a grievance.

“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.” Terri Jackson, WNBPA’s executive director, said in a statement.

The Sparks are 9-7 this season.

“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,” the LA Sparks said in a statement.

Williams has been with the Sparks since 2016 after playing four seasons with the Tulsa Shock.