June 13, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Indiana congressman questions WNBA over ‘excessive attack’ on Kaitlyn Clark

Indiana congressman questions WNBA over ‘excessive attack’ on Kaitlyn Clark

An Indiana congressman is criticizing the WNBA over opponents’ treatment of Caitlin Clark in a letter to Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.

Congressman Jim Banks (R, IN-3) sent the letter on Tuesday and highlighted the hip examination Chicago Sky guard Chindi Carter performed on Clark in Saturday’s game. He called it “overly offensive” and said Carter’s teammate Angel Reese encouraged and supported the moment.

“Indiana is a basketball state. “We don’t flinch from aggressive defense, but this was not an example of ‘hard’ play,” Banks wrote. He added: “It was a cheap shot that could have resulted in injury and should not be tolerated.”

Banks suggested the WNBA discipline Carter and Sky beyond its decision to upgrade Carter’s foul to flagrant foul 1 and fine Sky and Reese for failing to make themselves available to the media after the game.

Banks said the NBA “refuses to hold hostile players accountable and enforce its own rules of sportsmanship.”

“Not only is this a disservice to Clark and the Indiana Fever, it is a disservice to the millions of young girls who dream of playing in the WNBA one day,” he added.

He ended the letter by asking Engelbert to respond to four questions, including whether the league would take steps to “reduce excessive physical targeting of specific players.”

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After Saturday’s game, Clark said she “wasn’t expecting” the blunder from Carter, calling it “not a basketball game” during an in-game interview with ESPN.

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Sky coach Teresa Witherspoon on Monday described Carter’s actions as “inappropriate.” When asked if there would be more discipline, Witherspoon said she and Carter addressed the matter “internally.”

On the same day, the WNBA said Carter would not receive a suspension or fine for the hit.

The league has a points system to track when players accumulate enough fouls to warrant suspension. The WNBA has the option to fine or suspend any player who commits a flagrant foul at any time during the regular season, preseason or playoffs, regardless of whether point levels have been reached.

Violating Reese’s media rules cost her $1,000, and Sky received a $5,000 fine for failing to ensure players complied with the WNBA’s media policies.

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(Photo: Luke Hales/Getty Images)