Kendrick Perkins Called For Men In Sports Media Like Stephen A. Smith And Pat McAfee To Be ‘Responsible To Do Their Homework’ With WNBA Coverage

The WNBA is in the spotlight right now, as the league’s years-long increase in popularity is heading to a new level due to a rookie class that features former Iowa standout Caitlin Clark. Unfortunately, this has led to an uptick in the league — and especially Clark — getting caught up in the 24-hour news and take cycle that can lead to pundits saying some absolutely insane things on live television.

For example, on Monday morning, we had a tense back-and-forth between Stephen A. Smith and Monica McNutt on First Take regarding Smith’s lack of WNBA coverage over the last few years, and several hours later, we got … whatever Pat McAfee was going for here. It’s been a lot, especially as Clark and the Indiana Fever have struggled to pick up wins early on in the year and Clark has gotten a few “Welcome to the WNBA” moments.

With all this going on, Kendrick Perkins decided to address the way Clark (and the league as a whole) gets discussed by “powerful men” who are doing more WNBA coverage than ever before.

“Now, we’re starting to see a lot of powerful men start to cover the WNBA,” Perkins said. “And there’s gotta be some fairness in that — they should be able to voice their opinions. But they also have to be responsible to do their homework when covering the WNBA.”

Perkins specifically pointed out the need to be “careful” with the language that guys like Charles Barkley, LeBron James, Smith, and Shannon Sharpe have used recently while discussing the league, then turned his attention to McAfee and his remarks from earlier in the day.

“Pat McAfee, I think he owes everyone an apology, especially Caitlin Clark,” he said. “You cannot call her out of her name like that. No one can come to his defense and it’s unacceptable. At the end of the day, you have to respect the WNBA, respect the women that are playing, respect the women that are covering the game, and you have to make sure you do it in great fashion, if you’re a man that’s jumping into that atmosphere.”