On Saturday, July 13, 2019, the wife of Seattle Storm WNBA player Natasha Howard took to posting a video and screenshots of text messages on Twitter to document alleged acts of domestic violence against her. That same day, the co-owner of the Seattle Storm and general manager released a statement on the matter, saying, “The organization is aware of the recent allegations against Natasha. We are in communication with the league and looking into them.”
Jacqueline Howard, Natasha's wife, did not call police about the alleged incidents, so there is no official police report on the issue. Natasha Howard has not been suspended from the team and continues to play.
Jacqueline Howard, apparently covertly, recorded a video with her cell phone of a conversation she had with Natasha. Jacqueline can be heard accusing Natasha of threatening to harm her and accusing her of breaking several doors in their home. In the video, one can see shattered glass in one of the doors.
Natasha denies “actually harming” Jacqueline in the video, but in screenshots of text messages to Natasha's mother and Storm staff members, Jacqueline also accuses Natasha of stabbing her in the leg and chest. Jacqueline then posted everything to Twitter, and on Sunday night took to Twitter again to complain that the WNBA had not responded to her.
WNBA Policy on Player Conduct
The WNBA, which is owned by the NBA, has rather vague wording when it comes to the conduct of its players in the collective bargaining agreement clause of player contracts. The conduct statement reads, “players shall at all times conform their conduct to standards of good citizenship, good moral character, and good sportsmanship and shall not do anything detrimental or prejudicial to the best interests of the WNBA, their Teams, or the sport of basketball.”
The allegations against Howard are disconcerting, but without an official police report, the league has little recourse to hold Howard accountable.
Another WNBA player, Riquna Williams with the Los Angeles Sparks, is facing much more serious domestic violence charges from an altercation last December which was documented by the police and led to her being charged with two felonies of burglary and aggravated assault.
Williams is accused of assaulting her ex-girlfriend and threatening to harm the ex-girlfriend's friend and son. The WNBA has not suspended Williams, and there is speculation that they will wait to decide upon any action against her until she is either found guilty of the charges or negotiates some plea agreement to reduce a sentence against her.
Domestic Violence Attorney Steve Karimi
Just because you may have been accused or even charged with domestic violence, you are innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. If you or a loved one are facing domestic violence charges, Steve Karimi is a former prosecutor who knows Washington domestic violence law and will fight to defend your rights. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 today for a free consultation, or fill out an online form.