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Angel Reese Referenced 'Special Whistle' After Flagrant Caitlin Clark Foul

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Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese claimed "some people got a special whistle" while referencing what she believed to be referees affecting "the game a lot" during her team's loss to the Indiana Fever on Sunday (June 16), which included being called for a flagrant foul on Fever guard and longtime rival Caitlin Clark.

“For inside, I think we were playing really hard. I think we went up really strong a lot of times and we didn’t get a lot of calls,” Reese said during a postgame press conference. “And going back into looking at the film, I’ve seen a lot of calls that weren’t made. I guess some people got a special whistle.”

Clark was driving to the basket with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter when she was struck in the head by Reese who was attempting to block the shot.

“Just a part of basketball," Clark told reporters after the game via the Indianapolis Star. "It is what it is. Trying to make a play on the ball, get the block. It happens.”

Officials reviewed the play before upgrading it to a flagrant 1, with Clark making both ensuing free throws. A flagrant-1 foul is ruled on plays WNBA officials interpreted as "unnecessary," while a flagrant-2 is ruled on plays considered unnecessary and "excessive," according to the league's official rule book via ESPN.

Reese and Clark's rivalry dates back to their collegiate careers when Reese was seen doing a 'you can't see me' gesture toward Clark -- who had previously done the same during her team's Final Four win against Louisville -- during the 2023 Women's NCAA Final. Clark, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, has involved in similar incidents of physicality throughout her rookie season.

Reese's teammate, Chennedy Carter, previously hip-checked Clark prior to an inbound pass during the Fever's 71-70 win on June 1, which was also later upgraded to a flagrant-1 violation upon review the following day.

"I wasn't expecting it," Clark said after the game via Yahoo Sports. "It is what it is. It's a physical game. Go make the free throw and execute on offense, and I feel like that's kind of what we did."

Clark, the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer in NCAA basketball history, has been at the center of heated debates over how she's been treated by other WNBA players, specifically veterans, amid her popularity. The Fever's season-opener, which marked Clark's WNBA debut, averaged 2.12 million viewers, which was the league's most-viewed game in 23 years and Indiana has been in four of the WNBA's highest-viewed games of the 2024 season, all exceeding an average of 1.5 million viewers, according to Sportsnaut.

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