Stephan A. Smith talks about Caitlin Clark Photo Credit: ESPN Stephen A. Smith said some WNBA players are “jealous of Caitlin Clark.”

Many people have hinted at it recently, but Stephen A. Smith said the quiet part out loud.

Smith claims some WNBA players are jealous of Caitlin Clark, which creates issues for Clark and the league.

The ESPN personality made his comments on First Take Monday during a spirited debate about the incident Saturday in which Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter floored Clark on a foul away from the ball.

“There are girls — young ladies — in the WNBA who are jealous of Caitlin Clark,” Smith said. “She is a white girl that has come into the league. She has burst onto the scene. She hasn’t proven herself yet. It’s not even about them thinking they’re better than her because they probably know it at this particular juncture because they’ve been playing on a level she just arrived to.

“Where the resentment comes in is the hard work, the commitment, the dedication, the pounding of the payment, the being on the grind. All of these years trying to uplift this brand that is the WNBA and is women’s professional basketball, and all of their efforts were in vain until this girl comes along and take the league by storm — takes sport by storm — in college and has accomplished in a short period of time what they haven’t been able to.

“One would think that folks would be smart enough to recognize and appreciate that about Caitlin Clark, piggyback off of that to their benefit, and praise her and support her for it while competing on the court against her and trying to take her out.”

As noted, others have cited reasons why Clark has faced a harsh welcome to the WNBA from some opponents. The View’s Sunny Hostin claimed Clark’s rise has been fueled by “white, pretty privilege.”

Others have speculated that the amount of attention Clark is getting compared to WNBA veterans is causing a rift.

Now, Smith has thrown jealousy into the mix.

[First Take; Photo Credit: ESPN]

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.