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Caitlin Clark Puts WNBA Haters on Notice, Headlines Biggest Game in Over 2 Decades

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Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark continues to cement her marquee status despite being the target of race-hustling trash talk and flagrant fouls.

On Sunday, the rookie sensation helped the WNBA score its biggest TV audience in 23 years, as a whopping 2.25 million viewers tuned in to watch the Fever defeat the Chicago Sky, CBS Sports announced.

That’s a 225 percent increase in viewership from the same time last year.

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“The Caitlin Clark-led Fever have now played in each of the five most-watched WNBA games since 2002, with two of those five matchups coming against Chicago,” Sports Media Watch reported.

The WNBA announced that in May, it had its highest-attended opening in 26 years and its most-watched season opener ever across all networks that aired its games.

The league also boasted that it had set records for merchandise sales, social media engagement, app downloads and league pass subscriptions — with triple-digit spikes across all categories.

More than half of all WNBA games last month were sellouts — an astonishing 156 percent increase from last year, the league said.

Do you like Caitlin Clark?

In short, Clark‘s WNBA debut has exponentially raised the profile of a heretofore sleepy sports league.

Indeed, the 22-year-old superstar has ignited such enthusiasm that countless new fans are buying tickets to WNBA games, purchasing merchandise, tuning in to games on TV and discussing women’s basketball across social media.

So it’s no surprise that Clark has become the target of bitter jealousy and malicious resentment.

Numerous X users agree that the NCAA scoring champion is responsible for the meteoric surge in public interest in her sport.

“The public hasn’t cared about the WNBA or women’s basketball as a whole for decades,” one person wrote. “Historically, Attendance numbers, TV ratings for both NCAA and WNBA show that.

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“For the first time, women’s basketball has a player in Caitlin Clark that is must-see TV…”

According to sports website OutKick, WNBA games featuring Clark averaged 1.099 million viewers as of June 5. Games without Clark drew an average of 414,000 viewers.

“By comparison, the WNBA drew an average of 301,000 viewers per game last season,” Outkick reported.

Clark is an undeniable rainmaker for the WNBA, so it’s disgraceful that her haters downplay her talent and smear her fans as racists.

Wall Street Journal opinion columnist Jason Riley said the WNBA is failing to leverage Clark’s incredible popularity — to its own detriment.

“There’s a lesson here for professional women’s basketball, yet the league seems to be in no danger of learning it anytime soon,” Riley wrote in a brilliant column on June 11.

“In terms of popularity, WNBA rookie Caitlin Clark is the Tiger Woods of her sport,” he said. “She left college as the NCAA’s all-time scoring leader for women and men.”

“When her University of Iowa Hawkeyes faced the South Carolina Gamecocks in the NCAA women’s championship game earlier this year, it drew a larger television audience than the men’s final for the first time in history,” Riley wrote.

“My 11-year-old daughter loves playing basketball, but she started watching women’s basketball only because of Caitlin Clark.”

He continued, “Yet somehow, Ms. Clark didn’t earn a spot on the 12-player team that will represent the U.S. at the upcoming Summer Olympics in Paris … The WNBA is desperate to expand its brand, but it won’t showcase the sport’s biggest star at an event that drew more than three billion viewers worldwide in 2020? This is self-sabotage.”

Riley wondered if the league is deliberately not promoting Clark because “WNBA officials are queasy about having a straight white woman become the face of a league dominated by women who are black and gay.”

The fact that we have to tiptoe around these issues is so stupid. The WNBA is shooting itself in the foot by bending the knee to divisive race politics instead of promoting its sport and its few superstars.

Given this virtue-signaling self-immolation, the league shouldn’t come crying if it slips back into obscurity.


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