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Chicago Tribune editorial board defends Caitlin Clark, likens Sky guard’s hip-check to assault

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Caitlin Clark found a defender in the Chicago Tribune editorial board on Monday.

The newspaper’s editorial board published a full-throated defense of the Indiana Fever rookie after she was hip-checked to the floor by Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter in the third quarter of their matchup on Saturday. The piece likened Carter’s foul to an assault.

“The foul committed by Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter was egregious,” the piece reads. “Outside of a sporting contest, it would have been seen as an assault. Even within a sporting context, it was bad: before the ball even was inbounded, Carter came up from behind Clark, shoving her at the hip and knocking her over. Lip readers simultaneously construed a five-letter epithet dancing on the Sky player’s lips. She should have been ejected from the game.”

The editorial board added that Clark hasn’t done anything to deserve the treatment she’s been receiving.

The piece also said Clark has more pressure on her shoulders than most players in the league and called on other players to take care of things, like the Carter foul, before it gets out of hand.

“They also are human beings and, in Clark’s case, a rookie player on whose shoulder rests more pressure than most if not all other players in the league are feeling,” the piece reads. “She has to compete on her own merits, but basketball has rules and if the WNBA chews her up and spits her out because it is too afraid of being called racist to protect her from racially tinged animosity, or indeed from fouls such as the one Carter committed, it will have done a huge disservice to its own game, now at a major inflection point, thanks in no small measure to, yes, Clark.

Caitlin Clark dribbles the ball


“It’s also incumbent among the experienced WNBA players to nip this nonsense in the bud, before it’s too late.”

Carter said later Monday she had no complaints about the fallout from the foul.

Chicago head coach Teresa Weatherspoon gave a lengthier statement on the matter and called Carter’s foul inappropriate.

“Physical play, intensity, and a competitive spirit are hallmarks of Chicago Sky basketball,” Weatherspoon said. “Chennedy got caught up in the heat of the moment in an effort to win the game. She and I have discussed what happened and that it was not appropriate, nor is it what we do or who we are. Chennedy understands that there are better ways to handle situations on the court, and she will learn from this as we all will.

Teresa Weatherspoon vs Fever

“As a team, we will grow together and continue to work hard to display strong leadership and set a positive example for our competitors, fans, and partners.”

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