WNBA Coach James Wade Files Complaint Over Ref Calling Him “Boy” During Game

(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

The Chicago Sky have officially filed a complaint with the WNBA office after head coach James Wade said a white official referred to him as “boy,” historically a derogatory term for Black men, during Tuesday’s loss to the Atlanta Dream.

During his post-game media availability, he spoke on the referee calling him that term.

“I don’t speak on that. Just watch the game. If you saw the game, then you’ll see it,” Wade said. “I’m gonna tell you what. I’m a grown man and I like being — I have a family and I have a responsibility. I have a team, I have a responsibility and so when someone tells one of my players to, hey, ‘Explain to your boy,’ I take that personal.

“But that’s what I been dealing with. That’s how people see me. Don’t feel sorry for me. I’m fine.”

Wade, who is also the team’s general manager, is in his third year coaching the Sky. He won the 2019 Coach of the Year award in his first season as head coach and signed a four-year contract extension in January.

Aside from the term used against him, Wade was unhappy with the officiating as he told reporters on the call the Dream players were “allowed to be” aggressive.

“Everybody, just watch the game. It’s ridiculous. I don’t know how good of a coach I can be (and) I don’t know how effective I can be if you look at the game and see how it is,” Wade said. “I’m not going to try to victimize anything, but I take it personal. It’s personal. We don’t have any margin for error. And all you have to do is just watch the game. It’s ridiculous, it’s shameful and it’s disgraceful.

“Both teams work hard and people don’t see that and it’s not appreciated. The players work hard. Even though we haven’t practiced at 5-on-5 since the season started, the players they work hard. When they come out and try to do the right things and it gets penalized just because of what colors you have on, then I think it’s ridiculous.”