WNBA says its reviewing Isiah Thomas hire and Brittney Griner domestic violence case

By SI Wire
May 07, 2015

The WNBA says they will review the hiring of Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas by the New York Liberty and the domestic violence case involving Phoenix All-Star center Brittney Griner.

The Liberty hired Thomas to be the team's president, despite Thomas being subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit while he was employed by the New York Knicks.

WNBA president Laurel J. Richie told the Associated Press that the Liberty hiring Thomas was "first and foremost a team decision, but there's ultimate responsibility with the league and that rests in my office."

Former Knicks executive Anucha Browne Sanders filed a lawsuit against Madison Square Garden and Thomas in 2007, alleging that Thomas sexually harassed her. A jury awarded Browne Sanders $11.6 million, after finding that the team improperly fired Sanders for complaining about Thomas' unwanted advances. Thomas and the Knicks have continued to deny wrongdoing. 

Thomas was also announced as a part owner of the Liberty on Tuesday, but the league's Board of Governors has yet to approve his ownership application.

"Once we receive that application, our vetting process will begin," Richie said. "We have read the reports in the news and that will be a part of our vetting process, absolutely. We have an annual meeting in December and the rest of our meetings are ad hoc meetings. This would be an ad hoc meeting."

Richie also said the league is continuing its investigation into the domestic violence case involving Griner and Tulsa Shock forward Glory Johnson, her fiancee.

Griner entered into a diversion agreement after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct and will attend 26 weeks of domestic violence counseling. The charges will be dropped upon completion of counseling.

- Scooby Axson

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