She’s the hottest name in sports right now, along with Jalen Brown and Joey Chestnut 🌭. Caitlyn Clark has helped to raise the status of and excitement level for women’s basketball to a mark that none of us have ever seen in the U.S.

Clark is a gifted ball player who carried her team at Iowa to a national title. She became famous for doing the John Cena motion to celebrate… then when she was upset by LSU the next year, the celly was enacted back at her by fellow star, Angel Reese. I saw so much backlash and name calling. 😳

Would this have been a story if it didn’t involve midwestern white girl, Caitlyn Clark and southern black girl, Angel Reese? Girls, as in they are both currently 22 years old. It’s a legit question to ask, as the same issues have seemed to interject themselves into the beginning of Clark’s WNBA career with the Indiana Fever this year. It seems that not only hype, but controversy about race, gender and sexuality have followed her as well.


This case reminds me of the instances of a couple of other famously hyped athletes when they entered the professional ranks. There are also differences with the below examples; therein lies the important discussion. It’s a worthwhile trip down memory lane to compare this situation to others in the past.

When Reggie Bush came into the league, he was thought of as possibly the greatest college player of all-time, rivaling players like Adrian Peterson, Michael Vick and Tim Tebow. Players wanted to shut that down and intimidate him, even as a form of psychological warfare…. Remember the welcome to the NFL hit in the playoffs? Nobody will go easy on you just because you are popular. In fact, if you are leading the pack, you may want to expect a bit of a target on your back. That’s sports!

I’m working on a piece about the 8 most interesting picks in each round from the 2024 NFL Draft. One of those players is Xavier Worthy as one of the eight that I’ll be paying most attention to from the 1st round of the draft. This man broke the record for fastest 40-yard dash ever recorded! As the following story touches on, coaches already understand that his speed is intimidating, and teams will try to counter with physicality… That’s competition!

I understand a lot of Caitlyn Clark fans may overlap with the Swifties, but here is something to know about sports: it’s grueling, it’s adversarial and it’s competition at the highest level! The players at this level pretty much devote their lives to their craft.

Even Clark responded and said that she doesn’t think opponents should apologize or take it easier on her… it’s sports. Many praised Clark for this, and deservedly so. I like her competitive spirit. But she said it right there: she doesn’t need to be coddled after receiving a hip-check in the throes of competition.

Did you see that Angel Reese is getting the same treatment, getting thrown down by her neck? She even had the same response that CC had before CC said it (much to this guy’s surprise 😂. What do you think the difference in outrage is? 🤔

Ya’ll remember The Last Dance documentary about Michael Jordan that was a beacon of hope for us all in the heart of quarantine? It was the only sports we were allowed. Jordan became a dominant force in the league, but even before that point, he was coronated with all of the hype. The bad boy Detroit Pistons devised a plan to literally beat him up! It was called the Jordan rules. They wanted to let him know that it would be a fight, and not to forget that they were some of the best in the world too.

When you play professional sports, teams will test you. They will try to get in your head and gain any type of advantage they can. If you are a media darling, or dubbed as the one who is making people care about women’s sports… then you’re really going to get people’s best shots, I don’t care what color you come in.

The Jordan Rules in effect

I’ve seen so much commentary about the black women of the WNBA committing acts of HATE on the court, and “assaulting” Clark. 🙄 Chiiiiiiiillll. The precious queen is going to be alright (Clark became the first WNBA player to reach 200 points and 75 assists in her first dozen games). When black people are treated unfairly and black people speak up about it, I’ve seen so many responses saying ‘Wow, of course you play the race card!’ Well, well, well… look who is deciding to play the race card hella quick!

To assume players intentions or character because of a hard foul is ridiculous. To treat the league as a monolith is preposterous. To call it jealousy and hate is a large jump to make, especially when other-colored rookies are being treated the same way. How about how Clark is not the first white woman in WNBA history?

As people are watching the WNBA with intent for the first time, is there surprise that women’s sports get physical too? Don’t be surprised. And don’t be surprised if everyone gives a generational talent like Caitlyn their best when competing against her. Especially since she does (you know we bark back in Seattle 😏) the same to them.

It’s possible that some players could feel resentful that they did not receive any attention before Clark. A’ja Wilson is the league’s best player at the moment, and she didn’t create this much hype. Wilson won Rookie of the Year, is a two-time WNBA MVP and two-time Defensive Player of the Year. She’s won two WNBA championships in just six seasons and just yesterday broke the record for most consecutive 25+ point games in WNBA history. She also had a game against the Wings where she received a bloody nose from a hard foul, then was popped again, causing her contact to come out. I don’t see jealousy and hate being used to describe that sequence.

Some players may want to gain a psychological advantage over the Indiana Fever. Some may feel like interacting and competing with her is the biggest stage that they can announce themselves on or measure themselves by. Some may want to send a message to the world by showing they can impose their will on the ‘golden goose’.

Then again, some players may be competing the way they always do, but the magnifying glass of national attention is continually trained on Caitlyn Clark. Some may even be frustrated that she seems to play up the fouls a little bit, and yet the narrative is the way it is. Don’t let the LeFlop peanuts gallery see that one… great competitors want every call.

The legend, Dawn Staley has something to say about how women’s basketball operates.

The fact that Caitlyn Clark has range that few other players have, necessitates a fuller court press, and constant defensive attention. It should be viewed as a sign of respect, even if she did not get selected as one of the top 15 women in the U.S. of A. yet. Her shooting has been great, but she also leads the league in turnovers per game. The attention and defensive tactics from coaches around the league may have something to do with it.

The truth is, C.C. is somewhat of a gift to women’s hoops, and it’s really cool to see how she has elevated the sport. I’m excited to keep up with her career, as well as those of Angel Reese, Cameron Brink, Kelsey Plum, A’ja Wilson and Skyler Smith-Diggins. But acting like Clark is under attack by all of the jealous black women of the NBA is real damn ridiculous, I mean give me a break! This is professional sports, a level of competition and spotlight that many of us will never know. And it speaks a little to the way America treats black women and white women much differently in this country.

Remember the Karen who tried to weaponize her tears and social status over a black man to get her way with a bird watcher? We already know that white women are urgently protected and given every benefit of the doubt in society at large. The critics are not here to attack and take that from white women, but at some point, we’ve got to protect and celebrate black women too.


Let me also just give a side note and say that Facebook is trash now! From all of the fake and misattributed quotes, to AI photos meant to trick boomers and older millennials alike to all of the race baiting. That’s why you don’t catch me on there very often anymore.

That may be a microcosm of society now, overlooking actual facts and making either martyrs and villains out of everyone. Take a deep breath, I have a feeling that Caitlyn Clark is going to be just fine. She’s not a victim. Much like Jordan or Bush would not be bullied out of the league, Clark should be able to rise above the competition and extra attention to showcase her incredible gifts.

Other than 3-word tweeting, what else are you bringing to the discussion in society? Hype has consistently proven to be a huge factor in both optics and competition. What does it uncover about your preconceived view of people? Thanks for sharing, just know that it has no bearing whatsoever on the path others take in intention or competition against the best of the best.

A statement from Clark, via Bleacher Report: While speaking to reporters on Thursday, Clark was asked about her name being “weaponized” in non-sports conversations and narratives, and she said she doesn’t pay attention to any of it. “It’s not something I can control, so I don’t put too much thought and time into thinking about things like that. And to be honest, I don’t see a lot of it. Like I’ve said, basketball’s my job,” she said. “Everything on the outside, I can’t control that, so I’m not gonna spend time thinking about that. People can talk about what they want to talk about, create conversations about whatever it is. But I think for myself, I’m just here to play basketball.” I respect that she goes on to say that “everyone deserves the same amount of respect”, and “people should not be using my name to push those (racist and misogynistic) agendas. It’s disappointing, it’s not acceptable”. The video is worth watching.

This explanation may be a bit of an oversimplification… but what it’s not: wrong.

Then again, some of y’all like pulling the race card on the low. Sports has almost become a big game of hate, ridicule and memes in this generation, but don’t let it get us to the point of reducing people down to weird and reckless enemy stereotypes. Don’t let blind tribal allegiance stop you from seeing the greatness of the moment. We can look back and appreciate both Bird and Magic, without the tired old racist rhetoric.