Indy Star Sports Columnist Bucks Ban on Writing About Caitlin Clark


The Indianapolis Star’s parent company Gannett seemed rather clear when it told media outlets last week that top sports columnist Gregg Doyel would “not be covering the Indiana Fever” after a creepy interaction with star Caitlin Clark prompted his suspension.

It appears that Doyel thought otherwise.

A source familiar with the situation told The Daily Beast that Doyel’s Wednesday column, titled “Indiana Fever, Caitlin Clark need time after being thrown into fire by opportunistic WNBA,” should not have been published. The column only came about due to a misunderstanding over his coverage parameters, the source said. It followed a suspension, first reported last week, that he would not be allowed to cover the Fever.

That ban was reiterated to The Daily Beast on Wednesday by Lark-Marie Anton, Gannett’s chief communications officer who represents the Star. “Indianapolis Star sports columnist Gregg Doyel will not be covering the Indiana Fever,” Anton wrote in a statement.

Doyel’s column—one of two published on Wednesday, his first pieces in weeks—encouraged readers not to give up on the team or Clark following their loss to the Connecticut Sun. “Don’t you dare let Tuesday night temper your enthusiasm for the Indiana Fever, or for Caitlin Clark, or for the most anticipated WNBA season in history — locally and afar,” he wrote.

It came a week after the news of his suspension broke over an awkward interaction with Clark at an April 17 press conference after she signed with the Fever. During his first question, Doyel mimicked her signature hand-heart gesture and told her she should “start doing it to me and we’ll get along just fine.”

Doyel apologized in a tweet and column and initially kept writing, though he was ultimately handed a two-week suspension late last month, according to former Indy Star columnist Bob Kravitz. That suspension was unpaid, according to The Washington Post.

​​Doyel is an award-winning sports columnist, repeatedly winning the Associated Press Sports Editors’ distinction of top sports columnist. He previously worked at CBS Sports, the Miami Herald, and the Charlotte Observer before joining the Star in 2014. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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