May 3, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) speaks to the media before the game against the Dallas Wings at College Park Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Caitlin Clark hasn’t even played a regular-season game with the Indiana Fever, and there’s been no shortage of strange questions in her direction.

Just over two weeks ago, Indy Star columnist Gregg Doyel came under fire for what he described as a “clumsy and awkward” interaction with Clark, though it was much more than that. While this latest awkward interaction with a reporter isn’t quite that, it still sparked discussion because of the nature of the question.

Ahead of her debut, a reporter surprised Clark by asking about her “bae” attending the game, referring to her boyfriend, Connor McCaffery.

“Huh, no. He’s working,” said Clark. “I’m playing solo. I better get used to it, man.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology, “bae” is a term of endearment for a significant other, shortened for “babe” or “baby.” While some interpret its origin as the acronym “before anyone else,” it’s much more likely to be an example of a backronym, which is an acronym formed from an already-existing word.

So, it’s likely that the reporter was trying to connect with the 22-year-old Clark on a personal yet casual level. And it just missed the mark, as many others, like The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach, noted how strange the entire interaction was.

While the “bae” question might not seem entirely out of place considering the interview context — discussing family attendance — it still feels awkward. Obviously, there was no malicious intent, and it would definitely be a stretch to say it was inappropriate. But it did highlight a curious word choice, especially with Clark initially confused about who the reporter was asking about.

And given Clark’s engaging personality throughout the interview, such tactics to spark intrigue seem unnecessary.

[Chloe Peterson on X, BroBible]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.