Caitlin Clark must be protected as WNBA haters try to intimidate her

She had shot 1 for 10 – 1 for 7 from 3 – her legs were gassed after back-to-back games, when something went terribly wrong, as Caitlin Clark began walking off the court in distress towards her Indiana Fever bench , motioning to his ear. in the fourth quarter.

Minutes later, she disappeared through the tunnel leading to the visitors’ locker room before returning to the bench for the conclusion of Liberty 104, Fever 68 at the Barlcays Center. She scored a career-low three points with five assists.

“I just got hit on a screen a little bit,” Clark told the Post afterward. ” But I’m fine. I just couldn’t hear very well, so it was a little difficult to understand what was going on around me.

Caitlin Clark was bullied during her WNBA days. Michelle Farsi/New York Post

I suggested that his confidence had not been shaken. “No, absolutely not,” she replied. “Keep shooting the ball, that’s what I’m going to do.” I know I’m really good at this. But I think I need to rest and get my body back in order. I feel like a little break is going to be really good for me.

This follows some unwelcome moments for the WNBA that greeted her unceremoniously early in her professional career.

Clark is tested. She is tested physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Part of it is petty jealousy. A game is played by veteran players who choose not to let themselves be punked by any rookies.

Although Clark is hardly a beginner.

Her opponents should understand that she’s brought more attention to the WNBA, but that doesn’t mean she should expect them to kowtow to her on the court and treat her with kid gloves. And she doesn’t.

She’s the face of the WNBA whether they like it or not, and sure, not everyone likes her, and of course there are those who don’t care that the new face of the league is be a late white face. at this WNBA party. To his credit, Clark defused any suggestions that race played a role here…

Caitlin Clark reacts during Fever’s loss to Liberty ib on June 2, 2024. USA TODAY Sports

She’s the one who signed the $28 million Nike contract before even attempting her first Logo 3. She’s the one who appears in the State Farm commercial. She is a marked woman.

She understands that this is part of the territory of professional sports. That’s part of the deal. LeBron James faced welcome moments in the NBA as The Chosen One. What’s good for the eye is good for the goose, yes.

But in the wake of Chicago Sky goalkeeper Chennedy Carter knocking Clark to the ground away from the ball Saturday in Indianapolis and appearing to say the B-word and liking the anti-Clark tweets and persistent pounding Clark was subjected to, the league should do itself a favor and get tougher on all egregious incidents, and start cracking down on any potential self-appointed vigilantes. The WNBA upgraded Carter’s foul from common to flagrant 1 Sunday morning. Better late than never.

Serious misconduct is one thing. A flagrant foul is another.

It’s one thing to be tested, another to be targeted.

Clark is not asking for special treatment, nor is he entitled to it.

The last thing anyone in the WNBA should want is to hurt the goose that lays the golden egg.

The goose that lays the golden eggs remembers when she was a more fragile, younger version of herself in college and opponents took liberties with her. She knows the last thing she or the league needs is to come across as a crybaby.

“I grew up playing basketball with the boys…you have to find a way to get by,” she said before the game, smiling. “And then growing up with two brothers, things were very, very physical, a lot of blood, a lot of tears, whatever it was. So I’m definitely prepared for that.

Caitlin Clark drives to the rim during the Fever’s loss to the Liberty on June 2, 2024. USA TODAY Sports

Above all, she managed her new reality admirably, despite three technical errors. She adapted to the physique of stronger, more mature women. Calls that she could have played for Iowa that she is currently not receiving. Growing pains with new teammates. Eleven matches in 20 days. The loss. All.

It didn’t shake his love of the game.

“I always remember there are times where I’ve been frustrated and upset, we lost here, I didn’t play here or things I want to clean up,” she said, ” but there are so many people that I would love to be in my position or I would love to have this opportunity I can do this as part of my job, how lucky am I sometimes it’s hard to remember and. put everything into perspective, but that’s what I’m trying to do, and I think at the same time it takes a little bit of the pressure off and really allows me to have fun and keep playing the game that I love. ”

She didn’t blink. Even in the heart of the storm. It will be better for Clark. She makes the WNBA better in so many ways. The WNBA better make sure it does its part to improve its situation.

New York Post

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