Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) reacts to a foul from the referee on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, during the game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Los Angeles Sparks defeated the Indiana Fever, 88-82. Photo credit: Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA Today Network

Caitlin Clark might not be receiving fair treatment from the media, but FS1 analyst Ric Bucher believes WNBA players are treating her just as they would any great player entering the league.

Clark’s rookie WNBA campaign has been marred by the media’s desire to find a racial narrative for every headline featuring her name. The continuously contentious discourse prompted Clark to get asked two questions about seeing her name get weaponized by conversations of race and misogyny earlier this week.

Those questions sparked discussions about whether it’s fair to force a 22-year-old who just wants to play basketball into commenting on media-driven narratives and racial agendas. But while fans, non-fans, and the media might be unfairly weaponizing Clark’s name, one area where she continues be treated fairly is on the court.

“The only people that are treating her fairly are the WNBA players,” Bucher said Friday afternoon on The Herd. “Because you’re coming in and everybody said, ‘you are all that.’ And if I’m a WNBA player and everybody is saying ‘you’re gonna take over this league,’ I’ve already been here. I’ve already been playing. You’re gonna have to show me.

“How she’s being treated by WNBA players is no different than any great player coming into the league. They all get tested. And particularly when they’re a skilled player and they’re not very strong, what are you going to do? You’re going to be physical with them. That’s just the nature of the game. It’s not head hunting or any of that.”

While there certainly is a racial aspect to Clark’s popularity, many people have attempted to push narratives claiming she is being resented on the court because she is a white superstar in a league that is predominantly Black. As Bucher notes, Clark is being tested, that doesn’t mean she’s being treated unfairly.

Resentment is not new in sports. Hard fouls and cheap shots are not new in sports, particularly for a player who was dubbed great before earning it in that league. And for a lot of people who only consume the WNBA through Caitlin Clark highlights, they probably weren’t aware women play such a physical brand of basketball.

These are professional athletes and the best in the world at their sport. Pride and ego driving WNBA players to prove Clark can’t just step on a WNBA floor and dominate is fair.

[The Herd]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to