The WNBA gave the Los Angeles Sparks’ Riquna Williams a 10-game suspension following a domestic violence incident.
The league made the announcement Monday after its own investigation into Williams, who was arrested April 29 and charged with two felony counts, one involving the assault of her partner and the other for threatening another person with a firearm.
“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.”
Williams’ suspension will begin with Thursday’s game against the Dallas Wings.
— WNBA (@WNBA) July 16, 2019
The Sparks released a statement shortly after the league’s announcement.
“The Sparks have cooperated fully with the league’s investigation,” it read, in part. “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.”
It will be the first suspension under new commissioner Cathy Engelbert — who officially starts in her role Wednesday — and the longest the league has given a player. In the past, the WNBA had only suspended players — the Phoenix Mercury’s Brittney Griner and Wings’ Glory Johnson — for seven games following domestic violence incidents.
Williams will be eligible to return August 22 when the Sparks host the Indiana Fever.
She is playing in her third season with L.A., which is already without Maria Vadeeva, who is out indefinitely after sustaining a knee injury, and have missed Alexis Jones, Alana Beard and Candace Parker, as well, due to injury.
Williams has averaged 11.5 points per game as the Sparks sit 9-7 and third in the Western Conference.