WNBA top pick Caitlin Clark subject to ‘sleazy’ questioning during Indiana Fever press conference

Ben McClellan
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever talks to the media.
Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever talks to the media. Credit: Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

She’s the most prestigious young talent in female US basketball but like all women Caitlin Clark has to deal with sleazy guys, but unlike most women not during a high-profile press conference.

Clark had to fend off an awkward exchange with a local columnist who appeared to mock the love-heart shape gesture she has become famous for as she was unveiled to the press in Indianapolis for her new NBA team the Indiana Fever after she was drafted as the No1 pick.

Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyle started his question by saying “real quick, let me do this,” before making a heart with his hands.

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“You like that?” Clark asked with a smile on her face.

“I like that you’re here, I like that you’re here,” Doyel said.

“Yeah, I do that at my family after every game ... pretty cool” Clark responded.

Doyel then delivered his creepy punchline: “Start doing it to me and we’ll get along just fine.”

Clark kept her cool but the columnist has been savaged on social media and wrote a mea culpa column to temper the backlash but the damage had already been done.

CBC Sports senior contributor Shireen Ahmed called for Doyel to lose his WNBA accreditation.

“Almost every one of my women colleagues & students in sport media and sports journalism are sharing that clip of Gregg Doyel and Caitlin Clark with disgust,” Ahmed wrote on X.

“We are rightly furious and fed up. His creds should be revoked and offered to an unentitled journalist who respects women.”

The Athletic’s Meg Linehan said the strange exchange highlighted a deeper issue in sports coverage.

“That Caitlin Clark video highlights a lot of things in one very small clip, but it’s also worth discussing how that’s just the tip of the iceberg — how much does that approach reflect the decision makers who still shape coverage at every level?” she wrote.

ALBANY, NEW YORK - APRIL 01: Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes celebrates after beating the LSU Tigers 94-47 in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at MVP Arena on April 01, 2024 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
Caitlin Clark is considered one of the best female college basketball players of all time. Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Doyel said after initially being angry that he was the villain of the story he accepted how he acted was not appropriate.

“You can say that’s absurd, that I should’ve known better, and I do. But here we are. I was just doing what I do, talking to another athlete, another person, and didn’t see the line – didn’t even know there was a line in the vicinity – until I crossed it,” he wrote.

“In my haste to be clever, to be familiar and welcoming (or so I thought), I offended Caitlin and her family.

“After going through denial, and then anger – I’m on the wrong side of this? Me??? – I now realize what I said and how I said it was wrong, wrong, wrong. I mean it was just wrong.”

Clark was star for the University of Iowa where she had a record-breaking college career that culminated in 18.9 million viewers tuning in to her national championship decider - which Clark did not win.

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