David Dennis Jr. Photo Credit: ESPN David Dennis Jr. believes “so-called patriots” will pull against Team USA because of the Caitlin Clark snub.

Plenty of people are questioning Team USA’s decision to omit phenom Caitlin Clark from the Paris Olympics roster.

David Dennis Jr. argued Monday on Around the Horn that whether or not she deserved a spot on the team is a worthy debate, but he worries that “so-called patriots” will use Clark as “an avatar to lash out at the people who they have disdain for, mainly the makeup of the WNBA, black women, etc.”

The sportswriter posted a video of his comments on X, noting, “I talked about how Caitlin Clark has become an avatar for people to express their disdain for Black women.”

“There can be a healthy sports debate about whether Caitlin Clark should make this team,” Dennis said on ATH. “I’m of the belief she is not one of the top 15 players available … the problem here is, and what concerns me going forward is those people on the fringe that do exist, who are in real life, not just Internet trolls, politicians, pundits and people of the like, who are using Caitlin Clark as an avatar to lash out at the people who they have disdain for, mainly the makeup of the WNBA, black women, et. al.

“They are using her to go against Team USA. What’s going to happen … the big tragedy here, is the way they are treated by those people come those summer. We’re supposed to support America and American teams in the Olympics. I want to see that for this team, even if Caitlin Clark is not on that squad.”

Interesting thoughts from Dennis. It’s important to note that a list of those in sports media surprised that Team USA snubbed Clark cuts across racial and gender lines. Stephen A. Smith called Team USA “dumb” for ignoring the marketing opportunities Clark would bring. Colin Cowherd called the decision a “missed layup.” Longtime USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan told CNN Clark’s omission cost Team USA an opportunity to grow the sport.

Dennis is right that some people will use the snub as an opportunity to pull against the women’s basketball team in Paris. There’s certainly precedent for that kind of behavior. Former USWNT star Megan Rapinoe’s outspoken political views, including her protests during the national anthem, led some conservatives to actively root against her and by extension, the entire USWNT.

One thing is certain, however — just when you thought the debate about Caitlin Clark, the WNBA, and women’s basketball couldn’t become any more racially charged, another pundit raises an issue about that.

[David Dennis Jr.]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.