Reporter Punished For Awkward Caitlin Clark Exchange

By Jason Hall

May 7, 2024

Caitlin Clark Introductory Press Conference
Photo: Getty Images

Indianapolis Star reporter Gregg Doyel has been suspended and banned from Indiana Fever games following his awkward exchange with rookie guard Caitlin Clark during her introductory press conference last month.

Doyel is suspended two weeks and will be prohibited from attending Fever games this season, but will cover the team remotely for opinion stories, veteran Indianapolis reporter Bob Kravitz reported on Tuesday (May 7). Kravitz didn't specify whether Doyel's suspension is paid or unpaid in his report.

Doyel addressed Clark's heart-shaped hand gesture she's famously made toward her family during games during her first press conference for the Fever since being selected No. 1 overall in the 2024 WNBA Draft last month.

“You like that?” Clark responded.

“I like that you’re here, I like that you’re here,” Doyel said before adding, "Start doing it to me and we'll get along just fine" after she explained she made the gesture to her family.

Doyel hasn't published a story since covering the Indianapolis Colts' NFL Draft, having missed Clark's WNBA preseason debut, as well as the Indiana Pacers' Game 6 series-clinching win against the Milwaukee Bucks and loss to the New York Knicks in Game 1 of their second-round series on Monday (May 6). The veteran reporter wrote an apology column following his incident with Clark.

“I now realize what I said and how I said it was wrong, wrong, wrong. I mean it was just wrong,” Doyel wrote. “Caitlin Clark, I’m so sorry.”

Clark's emergence as the face of women's college basketball has led to a significant increase in popularity for the sport, which included her final collegiate game, a loss to South Carolina in the March Madness Final, being the most viewed women's sporting event in history, peaking at 24 million viewers and averaging 18.7 million, which was a larger than the men's final for the first time in history. Clark recorded 30 points, including 18 in the first period, eight rebounds and five assists and averaged 31.6 points, 8.9 assists and 7.4 rebounds during her final season at Iowa.

Clark recorded a team-best 21 points, as well as three rebounds, two assists and two steals during her preseason WNBA debut against the Dallas Wings on May 3. The Fever will have 36 nationally televised games during the 2024 WNBA season.

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