Caitlin Clark Had To Deal With An Uncomfortable Reporter Interaction In Her Introductory Press Conference

Caitlin Clark’s arrival in the WNBA as the top pick of the Indiana Fever is a major moment for the league. Where Clark goes, attention follows, as she has transcended sports into being a well-known figure in popular culture beyond just basketball fans.

For the Fever and the WNBA, it’s incumbent on them to capitalize on that attention and make sure the league’s product can shine and get the attention it deserves. However, the attention also means a lot more people coming in looking for access and it will also be important for the league and team to help Clark handle the pitfalls of that level of fame.

Part of that is who to provide access to, and being both proactive and reactive to folks that prove they can’t behave properly. In Clark’s introductory press conference on Wednesday, she had to deal with a very uncomfortable moment with Gregg Doyel of the Indy Star, in which he did her “heart hands” sign to her before asking a question, and suggested she do it to him.

I can’t even fathom what the thought process was that went into starting this interaction from a reporter’s point of view — doing a hand gesture you’ve seen someone do but don’t quite understand is questionable at best. Then to roll into “start doing it to me and we’ll be just fine” makes it go from awkward to flat out creepy.

Clark will have to deal with a lot as one of the new faces of the league. Every quote will get dissected and her body language on the court picked apart and analyzed. Poor performances will be shredded while great ones will be lauded. All of that comes with being an elite athlete and a person of immense interest in the public eye.

However, what she should never have to deal with is situations like this. It’s the job of reporters to be professional and for grown men in general not to be weird to young women. The intent of the interaction is inconsequential, as what matters is what happens and how it’s received. This clip going viral is hopefully a good thing, because folks need to understand that this sort of thing isn’t acceptable in 2024.