With just seven games left in the regular season, in the middle of a playoff push, the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces have had to forfeit a game against the Washington Mystics that was supposed to be played on August 3. The Aces were backed into this corner by a hellish travel experience and some unforgiving decision-making by the league.
After their loss at home in Las Vegas on August 1, the Aces were due to fly the next morning to Washington D.C. to face off with the Mystics on August 3. Their flight was scheduled to take off on August 2, at 11:00 a.m., but after a series of delays the flight was ultimately cancelled. They finally got a flight to send them to Dallas at 1:30 a.m. on August 3, but it wasn’t until about noon that they were able to snag their connection to D.C., so they were forced to just loiter at the Dallas airport until then. They landed in D.C. at 3:45 p.m. for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off. That’s just under 26 hours of travel, for those keeping track at home.
Initially, the WNBA “tried their best” to accommodate this shitty circumstance, by pushing tip-off from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. At a certain point, the Aces decided the situation was simply untenable, and representatives from the team told the players’ union that they would not be attending that night’s game. It was cancelled, with no further news on how the league was going to handle the situation. Today, the WNBA put out a statement saying that the Aces will be forced to forfeit the game, putting another loss in their column during a contentious playoff race. League president Lisa Borders released a short statement announcing the decision:
Maybe the league really did do all it could to try and reschedule the game, but it’s shitty for Borders to shift the blame onto the Aces for choosing not to play on Friday. No professional sports team should be asked to play an important game just four hours after the conclusion of a 26-hour travel nightmare. It’s an unfair and unlucky break for the Aces, particularly if they end up missing the playoffs by just a game.