Monday, May 27, 2024

USA Today columnist reacts to IndyStar-Caitlin Clark controversy

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Veteran USA Today Sports Columnist Christine Brennan was disgusted by the comments Indianapolis Star Columnist Gregg Doyel made to Caitlin Clark and Fever head coach Christie Sides at Clark’s first press conference with the team.

Brennan said she had never heard a comment as inappropriate as what Doyel said to Clark during her first-ever professional press conference. Brennan estimates she has covered thousands in her nearly 43 years as a sports journalist.

“I couldn’t believe what I was reading when I saw it on Twitter and then I watched the video,” Brennan said. “Just the arrogance and the horrible way in which Gregg Doyel is talking to a 22-year-old.”

Doyel made two comments drawing criticism. The first was directed at Clark where he started by making Clark’s signature hand heart symbol to her.

Doyel: “Greg Doyel, IndyStar.”

*Holds up a heart sign with his hands to Clark*

Clark: “You like that?”

Doyel: “I like that you’re here. I like that you’re here.”

Clark: “I do that with my family after every game, so.”

Doyel: “Well, if you start doing it to me we’ll get along just fine.’”

A few minutes later, he asked Fever head coach Christie Sides a question about Clark.

“Greg Doyel IndyStar. Coach, you were just given the keys to that,” Doyel said. “What are you going to do with it?”

Brennan said this was sexual harassment. She confirmed her suspicion after speaking with Title IX attorney Nancy Hogshead who agreed with Brennan.

“There was this sense of a quid pro quo involving Caitlin Clark making that wonderful gesture, a heart, to her parents,” Brennan said. “And Gregg Doyel hijacked that.”

Clark has been quiet during this, a move Brennan celebrates.

“She’s actually been very classy and said nothing,” Brennan said. “That’s ok. It’s not her job to talk about it. It’s my job to talk about it.”

Brennan said it is disappointing to have this conversation in 2024 after spending her career fighting for women in sports.

“We are shining a light on another issue that Caitlin Clark can help take us to,” said Brennan.

No word on any disciplinary measures or required trainings for Doyel.

Managers at the IndyStar refused to comment outside of Doyel’s apology in his IndyStar column.

Doyel, IndyStar’s parent company Gannett, and the USA Today national office did not respond to News 8’s request for comments.

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