ESPN panelist worries Caitlin Clark will be used by some as ‘avatar’ to attack Black WNBA players
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ESPN panelist worries Caitlin Clark will be used by some as ‘avatar’ to attack Black WNBA players

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David Dennis Jr., a writer for ESPN’s Andscape, expressed concern Monday to those who were upset that Team USA left Caitlin Clark off the Olympic squad.

Dennis was on “Around the Horn” and worried that black WNBA players would be targeted after the Clark drama.

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Caitlin Clark enters the field

Caitlin Clark, number 22 of the Indiana Fever, observes a game against the Connecticut Sun on June 10, 2024, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. (Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images)

“I talked about how Caitlin Clark has become an avatar for people to express contempt for black women and how a bunch of so-called patriots are going to treat Team USA this summer,” he wrote on X.

Dennis said in his clip from the show that he didn’t think the Indiana Fever star was one of the best players available in the pool.

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“There can be a healthy sports debate about whether Caitlin Clark should be on this team. I am confident that she is not among the top 15 players available,” Dennis said, adding that Arike Ogunbowale could be added ahead of Clark if a player needs to drop out.

“The problem is, and what worries me in the future, are these people on the margins who actually exist, who are in real life, and not just internet trolls, politicians, pundits and the like who use Caitlin Clark as an avatar to attack people , whom they despise, mainly members of the WNBA, black women, etc.

DIJONAI CARRINGTON mocks Caitlin Clark after fouling her, gets booed at home

Caitlin Clark at camp 2018

Caitlin Clark, #172, of West Des Moines, Iowa, participates in tryouts for the 2018 USA Basketball Women’s Under-17 Team at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Marc Piscotty/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“And they use it to fight Team USA. What is going to happen… the great tragedy is the way they are treated by these people who will come this summer. We are supposed to support America and the American teams in the Olympics. I want to see it for this team, even if Caitlin Clark is not on this team.”

Dennis believed that “most reasonable basketball players would agree” that Clark could wait until the 2028 Olympics.

Clark’s reported snub from the Olympic squad caused a firestorm over the weekend.

Clark was the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft in April after leading Iowa to back-to-back national championship games and setting the all-time record in college basketball. She was unable to attend the national training camp in Cleveland after being invited because Iowa was in the Final Four.

Over the past two years, Clark has attracted millions of new fans to the game. The Iowa-South Carolina state championship was the most watched women’s college basketball game. Her games with the Fever have some of the highest rankings in the WNBA this season, not to mention the fan support she has received at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and elsewhere.

WNBA veterans Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner are reportedly expected to be on the roster along with Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson, Napheesa Collier, Jewell Loyd, Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young. Alyssa Thomas, Sabrina Ionescu and Kahleah Copper will be first-time Olympians.

Clark took the upper hand when asked about being removed from the lineup.

“I am excited about the fate of the girls who are in the team. I know they’re the most competitive team in the world and I know it could have gone either way – if they were on the team and I wasn’t on the team,” she said. – he said via The Athletic. “So I’m excited to see them. I will support them in their fight for gold. I was a kid who grew up watching the Olympics. So yes, they will be fun to watch.

Caitlin Clark is listening

Caitlin Clark, No. 172, of West Des Moines, Iowa, listens to speakers while attending tryouts for the 2018 USA Basketball Women’s Under-17 Team at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Marc Piscotty/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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“No disappointment. I think it just gives you something to work for. It’s a dream. I hope I can be there one day. I think it’s just a little more motivation. Do you remember about this. And hopefully in four years, when he comes back, I can be there.”