Connecticut Sun coach suspended, fined for comment about player’s weight

Connecticut Sun coach Curt Miller has been fined $10,000 and suspended for one game by the WNBA for making a disparaging remark to a referee Sunday about the weight of Las Vegas Aces post player Liz Cambage.

In a social media post following the Aces’ 72-65 loss to the Sun on Sunday, Cambage said Miller showed a lack of respect. The coach, while arguing whether a call should have gone the Sun’s way, told the official she weighed 300 pounds.

“I will never let a man disrespect me,” Cambage said in her Instagram post.

Miller issued a statement Monday apologizing to Cambage and the Aces.

“I made an inappropriate and offensive comment in reference to Liz Cambage’s height and weight,” he wrote. “I regret what I said in the heat of the moment and want to sincerely apologize to Liz and the entire Aces organization. I understand the gravity of my words and have learned from this.”

Miller said he has spoken with Cambage’s agent and the Aces’ general manager. The veteran coach said in a media session later Monday evening that he was disappointed in himself

“As a leader, words matter. It was inappropriate,” he said. “In a league where we empower women, and I’ve spent 31 years empowering women, (those words were) just not acceptable.”

The league announced the fine and suspension Monday afternoon.

The 6-foot-8 player said she weighs 235 pounds and is proud of her size. She said Miller’s comment was far different from the usual player-to-player trash talk.

“For a coach on another team to be yelling like protected abuse, ‘cause we can’t do nothing back, it’s just crazy to me,” she said.

The Sun said Miller will serve his suspension Tuesday when Connecticut visits the Seattle Storm. He said assistants Brandi Poole and Chris Koclanes will be co-head coaches for the game.

Before Tuesday’s tip off, Seattle Storm guard Kennedy Burke said she felt Cambage “handled it very well,” even if she would’ve reacted differently.

“Liz is the type of person that’s going to speak out if its something directed towards her. If I was in the same situation, I would just brush it over my shoulders, you know?” Burke said. “Everyone’s going to have a different reaction when it comes to a coach.”

Burke also said she didn’t feel like the controversy would have any effect on Tuesday’s game for either team.

Storm forward Ezi Magbagor, who is from Australia (like Cambage) and said Cambage was a player she admired, said she didn’t

“It is a very complicated situation and if I’m being honest, I don’t know a lot about it. I kind of just focus day by day with Seattle,” Magbagor said.

Burke didn’t feel like the controversy would have any effect on Tuesday’s game for either team.