Indy Sports Columnist Apologizes for ‘Awkward’ Comment to Caitlin Clark

Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images
Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

An Indianapolis Star sports columnist has apologized for his “clumsy and awkward” comment to Caitlin Clark, the former Iowa Hawkeye basketball star who was drafted first overall by the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, during her introductory press conference Wednesday.

Gregg Doyel posted on X, formerly Twitter, a couple hours after videos of his comments to Clark went viral. He subsequently published a full apology on the Star headlined, “Caitlin Clark, I’m so sorry. On Wednesday I was part of the problem.”

On X, Doyel wrote: “Today in my uniquely oafish way, while welcoming @CaitlinClark22 to Indy, I formed my hands into her signature [heart-sign]. My comment afterward was clumsy and awkward. I sincerely apologize. Please know my heart (literally and figuratively) was well-intentioned. I will do better.”

Clark, who made a cameo on Saturday Night Live over the weekend, took questions from members of the press Wednesday in Indiana. When it was Doyel’s turn, he began by making a “heart” sign with his hands, as Clark has done towards her family after games.

Clark didn’t seem too enthused by it.

“You like that?” she said flatly.

Doyel replied, “I like that you’re here.” Clark then explained: “Yeah, I do that at my family after every game, so…”

Doyel then said: “Start doing it to me and we’ll get along just fine.”

Later, Doyel wrote a full apology via the Star, writing the he was “devastated to realize I’m part of the problem.”

Doyel explained that he is known in local circles “for having awkward conversations with people before asking brashly conversational questions.”

He directed his apology directly at Clarke, adding, “In my haste to be clever, to be familiar and welcoming (or so I thought), I offended Caitlin and her family.

“After going through denial, and then anger – I’m on the wrong side of this? Me??? – I now realize what I said and how I said it was wrong, wrong, wrong. I mean it was just wrong.”

As of Wednesday evening, Clark hadn’t responded to Doyel’s initial comment or his apology.

Clark, who broke the all-time NCAA men’s and women’s scoring records this past season, joins Aliyah Boston—last year’s first overall pick—in Indiana.

The Fever open their season on the road against the Connecticut Sun on May 14.

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