Sportswriter Who Made Creepy Remark To Caitlin Clark At News Conference Is Reportedly Suspended, Barred From Covering Her WNBA Team

It was supposed to be a uniformly joyous occasion. The 22-year-old college hoops phenom and overall No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft, Caitlin Clark, was being introduced to the media and fans of the Indiana Fever, which had drafted her. Then came a back and forth with longtime Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel.

Doyel began the interaction by mirroring the heart-shaped gesture that Clark makes on court in recognition of her family.

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“You like that?” Clark asked him with a smile.

“I like that you’re here. I like that you’re here,” replied Doyel.

“Yeah, I do that to my family after every game. Pretty cool,” stated Clark.

“Well, start doing it to me, and we’ll get along just fine,” said Doyel.

Later that same day, Doyel wrote a mea culpa in which he called his behavior “creepy,” and saying he had acted from “ignorance.”

He continued, “In my haste to be clever, to be familiar and welcoming (or so I thought), I offended Caitlin and her family…I now realize what I said and how I said it was wrong, wrong, wrong. I mean it was just wrong.

“Caitlin Clark, I’m so sorry.”

The April 17 interaction had already gone viral, however, and now according to local station WISH News 8 and national reports, Doyel has been suspended by Indianapolis Star owner Gannett. Reports indicate that the term of Doyel’s punishment is two weeks. His out of office email response reportedly says Doyel will return to work May 13.

But when he does, a spokesperson for the paper also confirmed to News 8, “Indianapolis Star sports columnist Gregg Doyel will not be covering the Indiana Fever.”

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