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WNBA investigating LA Sparks GM’s comments after loss in semifinals

NEW YORK — The WNBA is looking into an obscenity-laced speech that included racial epithets made by Los Angeles general manager Penny Toler in the locker room after the Sparks lost Game 2 of the WNBA semifinals in Connecticut.

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said on ESPN on Thursday “we understand the heat of the moment and that the Sparks lost in the semifinals, but we don’t condone that kind of language and will be reviewing it over the next few days.”

A story on ESPN, citing anonymous players, says the Sparks general manager went into the locker room after the 26-point loss on Sept. 19 and used the offensive language. In the story, Toler didn’t dispute using the language, but said she didn’t direct it at players.

The Sparks were swept in the best-of-five series and star Candace Parker only played 11 minutes in the elimination game. Coach Derek Fisher benched his entire starting five for the entire fourth quarter with his team down double digits.

Fisher, a former NBA player and coach of the New York Knicks from 2014-16, finished his first season as coach in the WNBA.

Los Angeles finished the season with the third-best record in the league despite many players, including Parker, missing extended time because of injuries.

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