Carter handed retrospective flagrant foul after Clark clash

<a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Indiana Fever;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Indiana Fever</a> officials say rookie <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Caitlin Clark;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Caitlin Clark</a> is being unfairly targeted by opponents (ANDY LYONS)

Chicago Sky player Chennedy Carter has been retrospectively sanctioned following a hit on rookie phenomenon Caitlin Clark which triggered widespread condemnation.

The WNBA said on Sunday that Carter's third-quarter foul on Clark during Chicago's 71-70 defeat to the Indiana Fever on Saturday had been upgraded to a flagrant-1 violation following a review.

The league has also fined Carter's teammate Angel Reese -- Clark's long-time rival from college basketball -- $1,000 for refusing to speak to media after the game.

Reese was seen celebrating on the bench after Carter's foul on Clark, which sent the talented No.1 WNBA Draft pick flying to the hardwood. Chicago as a team were also fined $5,000 for failing to fulfil media commitments.

Saturday's incident was the latest in a series of flashpoints involving Clark and more experienced opponents, which have led to speculation the 22-year-old is being deliberately targeted by more experienced players for rough treatment.

Following Saturday's controversy, Indiana coach Christie Sides decried Carter's foul on Clark and urged the WNBA to take action.

"This is unacceptable @wnba When will the consistent complaints be heard?!? Something has to be done!" Sides wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Fever general manager Lin Dunn also vented on social media.

"There's a difference between tough defense and unnecessary targeting actions," Dunn wrote. "It needs to stop! The league needs to clean up the crap. That's not who this league is!!"

Several commentators and personalities also waded into the debate, with tennis legend Martina Navratilova pointing out that Clark -- whose talent has already sent interest in the WNBA soaring -- had positively benefited all players.

"The players in the WNBA need to realize that Caitlin Clark is helping all of them, now and in the long run," Navratilova wrote on social media, describing Carter's foul as a "dirty play."

"If you want to go after someone, do it from the front," Navratilova added of Carter's foul. "Better yet -- block their shots and win the game."

Clark, meanwhile, shrugged off Saturday's foul, saying she was becoming resigned to roughhouse tactics from some opponents.

"It is what it is, you know," Clark said. "I feel like I'm just at the point where you accept it and don't retaliate, like you know just let them hit you be what it is. Don't let it get inside your head and know it's coming.

"I think at this point like I know I'm going to take a couple hard shots a game and that's what it is."