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Caitlin Clark on culture wars: Don't use 'my name to push' racism, misogyny

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) shoots around Los Angeles Sparks guard Kia Nurse

Caitlin Clark's name gets thrown around a lot these days.

A lot of those discussions involve some pretty heavy issues.

The Indiana Fever rookie was asked Thursday about how she feels about her name being used in such a manner. After her answer received some criticism on social media, including from one of her WNBA rivals, Clark was asked a similar question later in the day, before her team's 91-84 win over the Atlanta Dream.

Here is a synopsis of Clark's day, starting with the morning shootaround. The all-time leading scorer in NCAA basketball history was asked by the Athletic's Jim Trotter about her thoughts on her name being used by others in whatever culture wars they might be fighting in the U.S.

“It’s not something I can control, so I don't put too much thought and time into thinking about things like that, and to be honest, I don't see a lot of it," Clark said. "Like I’ve said, basketball’s my job. Everything on the outside, I can't control that, so I'm not going to spend time thinking about that. People can talk about what they want to talk about, create conversations about whatever it is, but I think for myself, you know, I’m just here to play basketball. I’m here to have fun. I’m trying to help our team win … my focus is on helping us do that.”

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Later in the interview, Trotter asked Clark if she's bothered by the fact that some people might be weaponizing her name in such a manner.

“No. I don’t see it," she said. "That’s not where my focus is. Again, my focus is here and on basketball. You know, that’s where it needs to be and that’s where it has been and I’m just trying to get better on a daily basis."

Clark's responses didn't sit well with some people. Connecticut Sun guard Dijonai Carrington, who early in the week seemed to mock Clark for overselling a foul call during their teams' game, appeared to be one of them.

"Dawg. How one can not be bothered by their name being used to justify racism, bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia & the intersectionalities of them all is nuts," Carrington wrote. "We all have a platform. We all have a voice & they all hold weight. Silence is a luxury."

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Before the Fever's game on Thursday night, the Athletic's James Boyd asked Clark what her response is to people specifically using her name for "racism, misogyny, whatever." Boyd later said in a tweet that he asked her "directly about racism and misogyny, so there would be zero opportunity for confusion."

“Yeah, I think it’s disappointing," Clark said in response to Boyd's question. "I think everybody in our world deserves the same amount of respect. The women in our league deserve the same amount of respect. People should not be using my name to push those agendas. It's disappointing. It's not acceptable.

"Just treating every single woman in this league with the same amount of respect, I think, it's just a basic human thing that everybody should do. You know, just be a kind person and treat them how you would want to be treated. I think it’s very simple."

Clark finished the game with seven points, six assists, four rebounds and seven turnovers in 35 minutes.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.