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ESPN’s Pat McAfee faces backlash after calling WNBA star Caitlin Clark a ‘white bitch’



CNN

ESPN host Pat McAfee apologized for calling Caitlin Clark a “white bitch” during a Monday show segment about whether race played a role in the meteoric rise of the WNBA rookie.

“I shouldn’t have used ‘white bitch’ to describe Caitlin Clark. It doesn’t matter what the context is…even if we talk about race being a reason why certain things happen. I have way too much respect for her and women to put that out in the universe,” McAfee wrote Monday afternoon on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“My intentions in saying it was complementary, just like the whole segment, but a lot of people are saying that definitely wasn’t the case at all,” he added. “This is 100% my fault and I apologize.”

McAfee wrote that he also sent Clark an apology.

The apology came hours after McAfee claimed on his program, broadcast on both ESPN and YouTube, that it was Clark and Clark alone who were behind the WNBA’s surge in popularity this year, saying that some argued it was because she was a white player. she became so popular.

McAfee, the former NFL punter turned shock jock, argued that wasn’t the case, describing Clark’s dominant television ratings, ticket sales and jersey sales in a game show-style segment that he called “Guess the WNBA Rookie.”

“What we’re trying to say is that what the WNBA has right now is what we like to describe as a cash cow. There is a superstar,” McAfee said. “But I wish the media would continue to say, ‘This rookie class, this rookie class.’ No, just call it what it is There’s a white bitch for the Indiana team who is a superstar.

McAfee then described how Clark “carried” the Iowa basketball program and shattered NCAA scoring records.

“Is there any chance that people just love watching her play basketball because of how electrifying she was, what she did, what she stood for, how she did what she wanted?” » McAfee said. “Maybe. But instead we have to hear people say that we only like her because she’s white, and that she’s only popular because the rest of the rookie class does what Well, it’s a bunch of bullshit and we think the WNBA – especially their referees – need to stop trying to screw it up at every turn. special and we’re lucky she’s here in Indiana.

While McAfee praised Clark effusively, his use of the derogatory term “white bitch” and his focus on players’ race drew backlash, including from some ESPN staffers.

“This is just completely unacceptable,” ESPN analyst Kim Adams wrote on X. “I’m interested to see how ESPN handles this. the WNBA Just let women hoop.

“Men are not doing well,” Alexa Philippou, ESPN WNBA reporter written theshortly after the segment aired.

“Beyond the unacceptable” wrote Athletic reporter and NBC sports analyst Nicole Auerbach.

“Referring to Caitlin Clark as ‘the white bitch from Indiana.’ This is beyond being too comfortable. Just completely unacceptable,” former ESPN host Jemele Hill. written the.

ESPN declined to comment to CNN on the matter. The Indiana Fever did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This backlash wasn’t the first time McAfee caused headaches for ESPN.

Earlier this year, McAfee unleashed a torrent of outrage when he allowed conspiracy-curious New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers to baselessly suggest on his show that the talk show host ABC late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel may be named in documents identifying associates of Jeffrey Epstein. McAfee later apologized after Kimmel threatened legal action and said Rodgers would no longer appear on the show for the remainder of the season.

McAfee also went after former ESPN executive Norby Williamson, accusing the network veteran of “sabotage” and calling him a “rat,” alleging he leaked false information on McAfee’s show.

Just months after these attacks, Williamson left the network.

Clark, meanwhile, was named WNBA Rookie of the Month for May. In 11 games, Clark averaged 15.6 points, 6.4 assists and 5.1 rebounds.



News Source : www.cnn.com
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