Jealousy and Hostility Greet Caitlin Clark’s Impact on the WNBA


Caitlin Clark is driving significant interest towards the WNBA, a league historically overlooked in the sports world. However, this newfound attention is not sitting well with some WNBA players.

Even before being drafted, Clark faced sustained media criticism from WNBA players, stemming from jealousy over her rising fame. This sentiment reached its peak during Clark’s Indiana Fever’s second victory, where Chicago Sky’s bench player Chennedy Carter body-checked Clark while the ball was not in play.

Carter’s blatant foul—which astonishingly was not called flagrant during the game—was paired with obscene language directed at Clark and followed by mocking social media posts, criticizing her for merely shooting threes. Clearly, Carter is among those discontented with Clark’s growing fame.

Recall the “Jordan Rules,” a strategy employed by the Detroit Pistons against Michael Jordan that involved harsh fouls to impede his scoring. The aim was to defeat Jordan on the court. Similarly, it seems the WNBA has now adopted “Caitlin Rules,” with players and pundits belittling her. While the Pistons’ message to Jordan was to deny him easy points, Carter’s message to Clark implies she doesn’t belong. The objective is to undermine her image, even though her presence is elevating the WNBA’s profile.

Clark has been subjected to ridicule from both players and commentators over her race, sexual orientation, and the fact that her popularity has drawn new viewers to women’s basketball. These critics resent that they were the initial fans and players of the game and feel the need to gatekeep by attempting to tear Clark down. Much like with the Jordan Rules, the sooner the Caitlin Rules fade, the better it will be for the sport, despite the objections from detractors like Carter.

Zachary Faria
Zachary Faria
Zachary Faria is a commentary fellow focusing on politics and sports. He previously interned for the Washington Free Beacon. He is originally from California’s San Joaquin Valley and is a graduate of Clemson University

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