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Caitlin Clark Gets Apology From Reporter After Press Conference Gaffe: ‘I’m Part of the Problem’

Caitlin Clark Gets Apology From Reporter After Press Conference Gaffe: ‘I’m Part of the Problem’
Caitlin Clark. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Caitlin Clark’s introductory press conference with the Indiana Fever was supposed to be about one of the most impactful women in college sports history joining the professional ranks.

Instead, it became about one reporter’s awkward, and sexist, exchange with the No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, which went viral on Wednesday, April 17.

Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel, who does not regularly cover the WNBA, asked Clark, 22, about a heart-shaped hand gesture she’s known for making on the court.

‘You like that?” Clark asked him.

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

When Clark said she makes that gesture to her family after games, Doyel said, “Start doing it to me and we’ll get along just fine.”

2024 WNBA Draft

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The clip went viral, and Doyel went into damage control mode, posting via X Wednesday afternoon, “Today in my uniquely oafish way, while welcoming @CaitlinClark22 to Indy, I formed my hands into her signature 🫶. My comment afterward was clumsy and awkward. I sincerely apologize. Please know my heart (literally and figuratively) was well-intentioned. I will do better.”

He followed that up with a column that he began with, “I’m devastated to realize I’m part of the problem” and concluded by saying, “Caitlin Clark, I’m so sorry.”

Fans and media alike took to X on Wednesday, blasting Doyel for the exchange, calling him “creepy” and “unprofessional.” Others pointed out that this was not the only awkward interaction Doyel had on Wednesday, just the only one that went viral.

He later asked Fever head coach Christie Sides about Clark, referring to the basketball phenom as “that” and “it.”

“You were just given the keys to that. What are you going to do with it?” he asked Sides, 47.

Caitlin Clark Gets Apology From Reporter After Press Conference Gaffe: ‘I’m Part of the Problem’
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images
Caitlin Clark 2024 WNBA Draft

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The Athletic’s Dana O’Neil pointed out that Doyel, for whatever reason, found it appropriate to make a heart hand gesture toward Clark that he probably would not make toward a male athlete.

“Sometimes life isn’t hard,” she wrote via X. “If, for example, as a professional, ethical, impartial reporter it would not occur to you [to] make a heart at, say, Victor Wembanyama, don’t make one at Caitlin Clark.”

The Next’s Howard Megdal added that interactions like this erode the trust between media and athletes — a topic that is often the center for debate in WNBA media circles.

“I am angered and sickened by this,” he wrote. “It is incumbent upon reporters to come to press conferences with knowledge and respect. And players cannot, and should not, be treated this way. This is a problem well beyond this specific dynamic. So many of us work every second to build trust.”

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This is not the first time Doyel has found himself under fire for making inappropriate comments. Users on X quickly unearthed a number of lewd comments he has made on the site, including one about a column he wrote about LeBron James in 2010.

“Just realized my LeBron column references masturbation, gang bangs and oral sex,” he wrote. “Damn. I’m twisted.”

Clark, meanwhile, has plenty to concentrate on aside from a viral exchange with a reporter. Not only is she gearing up for her first season of professional basketball, she’s also reportedly on the verge of signing an eight-figure sneaker deal with Nike.

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