A WNBA league source told Deadspin that the league’s “bubble” at IMG Academy, designed to keep the coronavirus out, has failed to do the same with bed bugs.
According to the source, two teams had bed bugs in their living quarters and had to be moved to different rooms, and that players are receiving boxed meals that many have refused to eat.
The ‘bubble” accommodations also have multiple cleanliness and health issues, says the source.
“The girls obviously just got there. They have had issues with cleanliness of the housing. Two teams had bed bugs in their living quarters and had to be moved immediately,” the source told Deadspin. “They are in a four-day quarantine and cannot leave their rooms and are receiving boxed meals. Many of the players refused breakfast this morning as dinner was not something they would eat.”
Late Monday night, a video appeared on social media that showed a laundry room that the players would be using during their time in the bubble. The video showed mouse traps that were placed inside the laundry room along with what appeared to be worms found inside one of the other rooms.
Our source has confirmed the validity of the video.
Pictures of the meals that the players have received have also surfaced since the posting of the laundry room video.
“I know the league is working to fix some issues,” said the source. “As the teams are able to leave their quarantine in a few days, they will get their first views of the courts and training facilities. Right now it’s just working through the housing problems.”
The source went on to describe WNBA players as being “really disappointed.”
Las Vegas Aces Star A’ja Wilson has also confirmed the laundry room video in a tweet that was sent out on Tuesday.
WNBA players have been critical of the conditions and resources that the league has given to its players in recent years.
In January, the WNBA players association and the league came to an agreement on an eight-year collective bargaining agreement. Most notably, the new deal is supposed to improve travel arrangements and raise players’ salaries.
However, in the midst of COVID-19, the news about the WNBA’s bubble further highlights the gap between the NBA and the WNBA.
“I understand that budgets don’t allow for the same,” the source told Deadspin. “But common decency should apply….hoping that during this quarantine period some things get changed.”
UPDATE: The Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart shared video of the bed bug traps under the mattress on teammate Epiphany Prince’s bed her Instagram account.