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ESPN’s Stephen A Smith says some WNBA players jealous of Caitlin Clark

via ESPN
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The hard foul against Caitlin Clark by Chennedy Carter during an Indiana Fever game sparked debate about jealousy and resentment towards Clark in the WNBA.

Stephen A. Smith argued on ESPN’s First Take that some WNBA players are jealous of the attention Clark has received as a young white player who has quickly risen to prominence.

“There are girls – young ladies – in the WNBA who are jealous of Caitlin Clark. She is a White girl that has come into the league,” Smith said. “She has bursted onto the scene. She hasn’t proven herself yet. It’s not even about them thinking they’re better than her because they probably know it at this particular juncture because they’ve been playing on a level she just arrived to.”

“Where the resentment comes in is the hard work, the commitment, the dedication, the pounding of the pavement, the being on the grind all of these years trying to uplift this brand that is the WNBA and is women’s professional basketball and all of their efforts were in vain until this girl comes along and takes the league by storm, takes the sport by form in college and has accomplished in a short period of time what they haven’t been able to.”

“One would think that folks would be smart enough to recognize and appreciate that about Caitlin Clark – piggyback off of that to their benefit and praise her and support her for it while competing on the court against her,” he said.

While Smith acknowledged Carter’s foul may have been retaliatory, he believes there is underlying hostility towards Clark for achieving success that other players have worked years for without receiving the same level of promotion and attention for the WNBA.

“You do that to a person who is now the face of the WNBA, you know that there’s something a little extra to that. Now, in fairness to her, I’ve seen a report where it showed Caitlin Clark elbowing her first and it was retaliatory – I get that part. Let’s also remember that before she shoved, she hip-checked her from the back, from behind, she called her the B-word.… We get all of that. That’s in the heat of competition. We’re not going to overblow that.”

“What we’re going to do is give the level of appreciation that it deserves in terms of the venom and potential hostility that exists toward this ‘golden girl’ who happens to be White and how the WNBA is promoting her,” Smith added.

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