Pat McAfee Issues A Non-Apology Apology To Caitlin Clark

WHN | Jun 3, 2024

INDIANA – ESPN sports analyst Pat McAfee issued an apology on social media Monday after referring to Indiana Fever guard…

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INDIANA – ESPN sports analyst Pat McAfee issued an apology on social media Monday after referring to Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark as a “white b****” on his live show earlier in the day.

“I shouldn’t have used ‘white b****’ as a descriptor of Caitlin Clark,” McAfee said. “No matter the context, even if we’re talking about race being a reason for some of the stuff happening, I have way too much respect for her and women to put that into the universe.”

“My intentions when saying it were complimentary, just like the entire segment, but a lot of folks are saying that it certainly wasn’t at all. That’s 100% on me and for that, I apologize.”

In the rant, also posted to McAfee’s social media, he recounted Saturday’s Indiana Fever vs. Chicago Sky game, a game discussed heavily by WNBA fans after an off-the-ball foul late in the third quarter.

Sky guard Chennedy Carter threw her hip into the rookie as Clark awaited the inbound pass. The foul, originally called a common foul but later upgraded to a flagrant 1 foul, was a hot topic of conversation across social media as Clark fans and haters alike shared their takes on the treatment she’s received so far in the WNBA.

Clark herself has previously discussed her treatment in the WNBA, specifically regarding the referees and the number of whistles called on plays she believes to be fouls.

Fever head coach Christie Sides received a technical foul herself for protesting a no-call after a Clark drive to the basket in Thursday’s game against the Seattle Storm.

As he went on, McAfee revealed his belief that while some people believe the 2024 WNBA rookie class as a whole to be the major catalyst for the great strides made in women’s basketball, Caitlin Clark is the one true reason people have tuned in.

“I would like the media people that continue to say this rookie class, rookie class, rookie class,” McAfee said. “Nah, just call it for what it is, there’s one white b**** for the Indiana team who is a superstar. Is it because she stayed in Iowa, put an entire state on her back, took a program from nothing to a multiple-year success story? Is it because she went on to break the entire points record in the history of the NCAA? Is there a chance that people just enjoy watching her play basketball because of how electrifying she is?”

McAfee then turned to discuss recent online discourse that fans of Clark are drawn to her because of her race rather than her basketball prowess.

“Instead, we have to hear people say we only like her because she’s white, and she’s only popular because the rest of the rookie class is doing what they’re doing,” McAfee said. “Well, that’s a bunch of bulls***.”

While McAfee’s later comments about some WNBA fans wanting to turn conversations about what Clark has done for women’s basketball into racial discussions have merit, it seems his point was lost as a majority of people instead focused on the language he chose to express this opinion.

McAfee stated in his apology that he sent a personal apology to Clark for the language used during the segment and concluded his statement by doubling down on the rest of the speech’s content.

“Everything else I said… still alllllll facts.”

Amara Bullard is a Marketing + Media student at Loyola University in Chicago aspiring to work in basketball operations. 

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