The Atlanta Dream won't bring back Courtney Williams and Crystal Bradford after their involvement in a fight in May, according to the WNBA players' agent, Marcus Crenshaw. He also said, though, that the team knew about the fight when it happened and didn't discipline the players then.
Crenshaw, head of The Fam sports agency, spoke on an Instagram Live chat Tuesday night with Girls Talk Sports TV.
"I talked to them, and they told me they didn't want to bring both back," Crenshaw said of his discussion with the Dream.
Williams led Atlanta in scoring (16.5 PPG), rebounds (6.8) and assists (4.0) this season. Bradford averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds, but her season ended in August because of a foot injury.
Crenshaw said both players will be unrestricted free agents. He said he thinks the Dream are letting them go because the organization is embarrassed by the incident coming to light now from footage of the fight -- which showed Williams, Bradford and others throwing multiple punches near a food truck outside an Atlanta-area club -- and a YouTube video Williams posted talking about the altercation, both of which circulated on social media Sunday.
"The team knew about the situation months ago," Crenshaw said on the Girls Talk Sports TV Instagram Live. "Right now, the team is trying to act like they have the morals, and [they're] making [the players] some sort of scapegoats by saying they got put off the Dream because of the altercation."
Although Crenshaw said the team had been aware of the fight since May, on Monday both the Dream and the WNBA said in statements that they were still gathering more information.
"The behavior in the video is unacceptable and does not align with our values as an organization," the Dream said in a statement Monday. "We are taking this matter very seriously and working with the league to gather more information and determine next steps."
In portions of Williams' YouTube video, she appeared to make light of the fight, but she also voiced concern about being outnumbered. She filmed the 39-minute video with her girlfriend, Glamazontay, a YouTube personality who has more than 870,000 subscribers. The video was deleted Sunday night from the video-sharing platform. On Monday, Williams posted an apology on Twitter for the YouTube video.
"I would never want to represent myself or the organization in a negative way," Williams tweeted. "I'm learning everyday so I ask for grace as I'm growing. Again I apologize to all attached, and I will be better moving forward."
I want to sincerely apologize for the video posted yesterday. I would never want to represent myself or the organization in a negative way. I'm learning everyday so I ask for grace as I'm growing. Again I apologize to all attached, and I will be better moving forward.— Courtney Williams (@CourtMWilliams) October 4, 2021
Crenshaw said Williams assumed that since the organization didn't discipline her for the fight when it happened in May, she could discuss it on YouTube in October.
"She didn't maliciously put it out there because she was trying to ruin her reputation or the Dream. She was simply being a YouTuber," Crenshaw said. "She's not happy that she did it. Courtney took the video down. Courtney understands the severity of the video."
It was unclear in the fight footage how the altercation in Atlanta began, and it didn't appear law enforcement was involved, although club security personnel appeared in the video breaking up the fight.
Crenshaw said Williams feared "getting jumped" by a group waiting outside the club after some words were exchanged. He said Glamazontay and Bradford then came to the defense of Williams.
"No, they were not right for fighting, but when things happen like that, people start fighting," Crenshaw said. "That's kind of what happens anywhere. I will always recommend trying to get out of the situation the right way."
This incident is the latest issue the organization has faced since being purchased in February by an ownership group led by real estate investor Larry Gottesdiener and including former WNBA player Renee Montgomery.
Coach Nicki Collen left the Dream just before the start of the season to take the women's basketball head-coaching job at Baylor. Assistant Mike Petersen became interim head coach but stepped down in July for health reasons and was replaced by another assistant, Darius Taylor.
Chennedy Carter, selected No. 4 overall in the 2020 draft, was suspended by the Dream on July 5 for what was termed "conduct detrimental to the team."
Carter, apparently expressing her displeasure with the Dream, tweeted on Sunday, "somewhere with folks with class, somewhere with people who embrace your talent, somewhere that your loved, somewhere you can actually win ...."