Orlando Magic's Gilbert Arenas, left, looks for a way around...

Orlando Magic's Gilbert Arenas, left, looks for a way around Atlanta Hawks' Jamal Crawford during the first half of Game 2 of a first-round NBA playoff series in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Credit: AP / John Raoux

The WNBA and several angry players fired back at former NBA guard Gilbert Arenas, who suggested that they play in undergarments to improve the popularity of the league.

Spokesman Mike Bass responded to the comments in a statement Wednesday on behalf of the NBA and the WNBA, saying, “Gilbert Arenas’ comments are repugnant, utterly disrespectful and flat-out wrong. WNBA players are strong, talented and determined individuals who give it their all on the court and serve as inspiring role models to millions around the world.

“They should be celebrated for their accomplishments, not disparaged with ignorant insults.”

Arenas, a 33-year-old former three-time NBA All-Star who was suspended for most of the 2009-10 season after violating league rules on handguns, said in an Instagram post that having players play in skimpy underwear would help the league.

His comments angered players, prompting Swin Cash, Ivory Latta, Elena Delle Donne and others to respond to Arenas via social media.

The WNBA, which launched in 1996 following the Atlanta Olympics, is about to embark on its 20th season.

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