Caitlin Clark Is Revolutionizing the WNBA, So Why Is She Getting So Much Blowback?

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

It’s been six weeks since Caitlin Clark was selected as the first overall pick in the 2024 WNBA draft and three weeks since her rookie season with the Indiana Fever tipped off. And as expected, her presence has already been felt throughout the 28-year-old league.

In addition to the exponential rise of ratings and ticket sales, the WNBA finally instituted a charter flight policy for all teams after years of player safety concerns. Yet there still seems to be bad blood towards Clark from both the media and her fellow competitors. 

On Tuesday’s show, Megyn was joined by Dave Rubin, host of The Rubin Report, to discuss the most recent controversial foul against Clark and why she seems to be ruffling so many feathers on and off the court.

The Foul

It is no surprise that, as a highly touted number one draft pick, Clark has taken her lumps so far this season. But a potentially dangerous shoulder-check by Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter over the weekend has led many to wonder if things have gone too far.

During the third quarter of a nail-biter game won 71 to 70 by the Fever in Indianapolis on Saturday, Carter gave a shoulder shot to Clark from behind and knocked her down before the basketball was inbounded. The play was not reviewed by game officials at the time and was called a common away-from-the-ball foul, but the WNBA has since upgraded it to a flagrant-1 violation after reviewing the play.

Carter, who has bounced around the league due to conduct issues, said she had “no regrets” about the play and is always “going to compete” regardless of the opponent. In Rubin’s view, she should be out of a job. “To me, you kick her out of the league,” he said. “She could have broken [Clark’s] leg.”

While Megyn admitted she knows very little about basketball, she believes Carter’s intentions were clear. “It was her expressing her anger,” she said. “That wasn’t just playing. This was, ‘I’m angry with you, and I’m going to assault you.’”

The Reaction

The talking heads have seemingly been at a loss for how to cover Clark’s ascension in the sport. While she has done wonders to elevate the previously niche women’s league, many have attributed her popularity to her race, sexuality, and even appearance rather than her talent.

On The View, for example, Sunny Hostin claimed Clark is enjoying the effects of “pretty,” “white,” and “tall privilege” that make her “more relatable to more people.” Another issue? She is straight. “Unfortunately, there still is that stigma against the LGBTQ+ community – 70 percent of the WNBA is black, a third of the players are in the LGBTQ+ community,” Hostin said. “I think that people have a problem with basketball-playing women that are lesbians. Who cares? They are great athletes.”

Whoopi Goldberg, meanwhile, defended Carter’s play by saying physicality is part of the game and the only reason people care is because it involves women. “This happens in basketball all the time,” she said. “A lot of people, however, are reading this as confrontation…. They aren’t aware, you know, and just because they’re women, get over yourselves. They’re athletes.”

Megyn joked that we are apparently supposed to interpret the violence as “female empowerment.” Rubin called Goldberg’s assessment nonsense. “That is such an absolute lie,” he said. “Yes, people get hit on a basketball court… [but] the ball was not in play. She just went to hurt her. That’s it.”

Ultimately, Rubin said there should be nothing but gratitude for Clark. “Every single player… coach, manager, janitor, anyone with anything to do with that league should be bowing at the altar of this woman,” he concluded. “Caitlin Clark has now broken that glass ceiling… [and] she is transforming the sport into something mainstream, which is what the WNBA set out to do when it started.”

You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Rubin by tuning in to episode 809 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.