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Jason Whitlock: Why Caitlin Clark Could Face Hostility in the WNBA

Former WNBA player Sheryl Swoops when asked about Caitlin Clark’s college career and her WNBA potential: “Yes, records are made and set to be broken, but if you’re going to break a record, if it’s legitimate, you have to break that record in the same amount of time that that player set it in. So if Kelsey Plum set that record in four years, well then Caitlin Clark should have broken that record in four years. But because of ‘COVID’ year, there’s another year... So she’s already had an extra year to break that record, so is it truly a broken record? I don’t think so. They’ll say ‘DAMN, SHE WAS KILLING ‘EM!’... But you have a 25-year-old playing against a 20-year-old. Like, you SHOULD be killing them because you’ve been doing it a lot longer than they have. Caitlin Clark right now probably takes about 40 shots a game. When she comes to the league, regardless of what team she goes to that has vets on that team, she probably ain’t going to get 40 shots a game.” 

Jason Whitlock: “That’s a lot of hate, a lot of bad information. This is Caitlin Clark’s fourth season, same as Kelsey Plum. Caitlin Clark has played in [126] games, Kelsey Plum played in 139 games. Caitlin is averaging [28.3] points per game, Kelsey Plum averaged 25.4. Caitlin Clark has taken [19.9] shots per game on average throughout her career, that’s less than half [of the 40 shots Swoops claimed]. She’s 22, not 25. This is a lot of hate. They’re killing the golden goose.
She’s going to face a level of racism from Black players and she’s going to face a level of hostility from lesbian players because she’s not on team LGBTQ – she's Catholic, she’s got some boyfriend. She’s going to walk into an extremely hostile environment. When it was Tiger Woods walking into a hostile environment of the PGA Tour, we talked about it, we covered it, we covered it sympathetically, and we criticized the people that were against Tiger Woods... As it relates to Caitlin Clark, who could make the WNBA far more relevant, she’s going to face a level of hostility that is unprecedented. People think men are bad; a group of women? You just sat and listened to Sheryl Swoops stack lie on top of lie, on top of misinformation, and a group of Black people mostly just nodded their heads as if she knew what she was talking about because Gilbert Arenas knows virtually nothing.
She’s going to walk into hostile territory. Iowa has a predominantly White roster because if you put an Angel Reese on that team, you got headaches and problems. You’re multiplying your Sheryl Swoops'es of the world that are sitting there just trying to hate on them, and trying to prove that they’re not as good as all the hype.
I think the media is going to participate in the diminishment of Caitlin Clark as the ‘woke’ thing to do. It’ll be like the fade haircut deal. ‘DON’T YOU KNOW THAT BLACK PLAYERS INVENTED BASKETBALL?? SHE’S JUST CULTURALLY APPROPRIATING STEPH CURRY’S STYLE OF PLAY!’... They’ll pretend like Pete Maravich never existed, and pretend like James Naismith never existed, and that basketball didn’t exist until Michael Jordan invented it. I think she’s going to catch hell from the media, catch hell from the opposition, and if they don’t have the right teammates and right head coach in place, she’s gonna catch hell from her own teammates. If she’s a Catholic, which I think people think she is, that’s ‘sin’ enough. She’s a Catholic, heterosexual -- she can be ripped and destroyed. There have been some Black WNBA players talk about the discrimination they felt for not going along with the LGBTQ stuff, talk about the sexual gymnastics inside the locker room, and the pressure. If you listen to the handful of heterosexual women in the NBA, it’s like walking into prison. The sexual dynamics, the sexual oppression, and discrimination that she’ll go through will all be ignored."

Watch Jason Whitlock of Blaze TV’s Fearless discuss controversial recent comments former WNBA great Sheryl Swoops made about Iowa superstar Caitlin Clark breaking the NCAA’ women’s record for points, which bizarrely included obvious misinformation about Clark’s career.

Swoops, who won three MVPs in the WNBA in a storied career that spanned from 1997-2011, said on Gilbert Arenas’ podcast that Clark’s pursuit of the women’s all-time scoring record wasn’t ‘legitimate’ because Clark had the advantage of having an extra season of college due to Clark using her COVID waiver, and thus playing in more games than the previous all-time scoring leader Kelsey Plum. Swoops said Clark was dominating her opponents because she’s a ‘25-year-old playing against a 20-year-old', and then claimed that Clark takes ‘40 shots a game.’ The only problem with Swoops’ comments were that they were all untrue. 

Clark is playing in her fourth season at Iowa and has never used her COVID waiver, which was universally granted to all NCAA athletes as an extra year of eligibility that may have been wasted or tainted by the season played during the COVID pandemic in 2021. It's effectively allowed any college player whose career spanned through 2021 to have five seasons of eligibility instead of the usual four. Clark could potentially use her COVID waiver and play a fifth season at Iowa next season, but her scoring record was broken in under four seasons, and thus should be 'legitimate' according to Swoops' own standards.

Clark just turned 22 in January and is not ‘25’ like Swoops falsely claimed. She broke Plum’s record in 126 games, compared to Plum setting the previous record in 139 games, and despite Swoops saying Clark takes ‘40 shots a game’, Clark is averaging 19.9 field goal attempts during her four years at Iowa. 

Whitlock says Swoops’ baseless criticisms of Clark could be a part of a larger issue that could potentially plague Clark in the WNBA, saying there is going to be a level of jealousy and ‘racism’ from Black players towards a White star like Clark, and added that the ‘woke’ media could eventually turn on a White, ‘heterosexual Catholic’ who will likely become the face of the league the second she steps on the court as a pro. 

Check out the segment above as Whitlock compares Clark’s future journey in the WNBA to Tiger Woods’ on the PGA Tour in the mid-to-late 90’s, saying Clark could face the same discrimination Woods did in a sport dominated by a race opposite to theirs.

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