Atlanta Dream Didn't Know Extent of Courtney Williams, Crystal Bradford Fight Video

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVOctober 7, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 10:  Courtney Williams #10 of the Atlanta Dream looks on during the game against the Washington Mystics on September 10, 2021 at the Entertainment & Sports Arena in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Dream were initially unaware of the full circumstances in the fight that involved Courtney Williams and Crystal Bradford.

Dream co-owner Renee Montgomery said Wednesday on ESPN that the team "saw a clip in May that was 10 to 15 seconds long, with no context" and took the word of Williams and Bradford that they were acting in self-defense.

"But the thing is, we only understood the magnitude of the situation when we saw that the fuller clip was posted [over the weekend]," she said.

Marcus Crenshaw, who represents Williams and Bradford, said in an Instagram Live interview with Girls Talk Sports TV's Khristina Williams the Dream "knew about the situation months ago."

Courtney Williams brought the situation back to light when she uploaded a clip of the fight in a since-deleted video to her YouTube channel. She issued an apology Monday:

Courtney Williams @CourtMWilliams

I want to sincerely apologize for the video posted yesterday. I would never want to represent myself or the organization in a negative way. Iā€™m learning everyday so I ask for grace as Iā€™m growing. Again I apologize to all attached, and I will be better moving forward.

Business Insider's Meredith Cash reported the incident occurred in late May (the Dream opened the season May 14) and that tensions escalated "when someone commented on Williams' girlfriend."

The Dream provided a statement to Cash: "The behavior in the video is unacceptable and does not align with our values as an organization. We are taking this matter very seriously and working with the league to gather more information and determine next steps."

Crenshaw also confirmed a report from The Next's Howard Megdal that Atlanta informed Williams and Bradford they won't be back for the 2022 WNBA season. Both players are due to be free agents this offseason.

The drama added to an already tumultuous season for the Dream.

Less than two weeks before Atlanta's opener, head coach Nicki Collen left to take the vacant Baylor women's basketball job. Mike Peterson took over on an interim basis, only to step down from that post in July.

The franchise also remains without a general manager after firing Chris Sienko in April.

And before the furor over Williams and Bradford's fight, the Dream were the subject of the biggest off-court story in the league after suspending Chennedy Carter in July for conduct detrimental to the team. 

Carter, the No. 4 overall pick in 2020, hasn't stepped onto the court since a 118-95 loss to the Las Vegas Aces on July 4. She appeared to allude to the current turmoil engulfing the organization:

H O L L Y W O O D šŸ›¬ @ChennedyCarter

somewhere with folks with class , somewhere with people who embrace your talent , somewhere that your loved , somewhere you can actually win ā€¦.

Since they're now out of contract with the Dream, Williams and Bradford may not be subject to any discipline from the team.

However, Montgomery indicated Atlanta has reached out to the WNBA and the Women's National Basketball Players Association regarding the matter.


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