WNBA commissioner scoffs at notion Caitlin Clark is being targeted by WNBA players

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The conversation regarding Caitlin Clark and whether her peers are jealous is ongoing.

As the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer has drawn historic viewership and attendance, the rookie phenom has been the victim of some hard fouls and injuries, including a ruptured eardrum.

On top of that, there have been several slights, both out loud and on social media, directed towards her since her WNBA debut.


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Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever talks to the media during an introductory press conference on April 17, 2024, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

Those discussions include whether race plays a role in her popularity, and other players celebrating her struggles. (In fairness, that comes with those players celebrating their own successes.)

So, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert was asked by “The TODAY Show” whether she felt Clark was being targeted by other players.

She seemed to push back on that claim, saying it only seems that way because there is a “spotlight” on Clark.

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Caitlin Clark, #22 of the Indiana Fever, looks on during the first quarter against the Seattle Storm at Climate Pledge Arena on June 27, 2024, in Seattle, Washington. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)


“The fans we’ve had for a long time know how we have the best, biggest, most physical, best players in the world,” Engelbert said. “What people don’t realize [is] in college, there’s over 200 NCAA Division I women’s college programs. There’s 12 WNBA teams; so you take the talent, and it’s centralized with the best, the biggest, most physical, and, really, the best players in the world. So, I think there’s always an adjustment for all rookies. I think our rookie class this year is doing outstanding, including Caitlin. She was the rookie of the month for May.”

“There is a spotlight,” she added. No league is ever about one player. You see players, there’s injuries, other things that happen. We’re marketing around all of our players, but I think Caitlin’s lifting everybody.”

Clark earned the second-most votes in the first round of All-Star Game voting, behind only A’ja Wilson.

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Caitlin Clark, #22 of the Indiana Fever, poses for a photo during her introductory press conference on April 17, 2024, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)


She is averaging 16.2 points, 6.6 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game, while her last two games against Angel Reese and the Chicago Sky were the top-two most-watched WNBA games in over two decades.

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