Watch: Bill Maher Says WNBA Players Hate Caitlin Clark Because She's White and Not Lesbian


It’s only been a week and change since the incident occurred, but it feels like I’ve already seen the clip of WNBA star Caitlin Clark receiving a gratuitous hip-check from Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter about as many times as I’ve seen Joe Theismann getting his leg snapped in two by Lawrence Taylor during “Monday Night Football” in 1985.

Sure, it’s nowhere near as graphic as watching every bone in the Redskins’ QB’s lower leg splinter like they were dry twigs hit with a hammer, but we’ve attached significantly more sociopolitical import to the Carter/Clark to-do than we did with Theismann’s career-ending injury.

Part of it is because Clark is one of the reasons we’ve started caring about the WNBA, considering she’s arguably the most promising talent to come into the league in its quarter-century history. And then there are the usual cultural ambulance chasers in the 24-hour news media who need to fill that time with something — so what better way to fill it than to insinuate the only reason we care about this is that Clark has white/straight/pretty privilege?

In that vein, I’ve found myself uttering a phrase that, five years ago, I never thought would cross my lips: Thanks heavens for Bill Maher.

Yes, he may be a lib, but he still keeps a residence in reality and is willing to say what the Jemele Hills of the world won’t: One of the reasons Clark is getting targeted is that “women are catty,” “the league is very lesbian, and she’s not, and there’s race.”

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So, just in case you lost some kind of bet where you had to spend the first week of June under a rock without internet or television, here’s foul that everyone’s talking about:

The off-ball hip-check by the Chicago Sky’s Chennedy Carter — a four-year WNBA veteran with respectable stats but a troubled history on and off the court — was upgraded to a flagrant foul by the league.

Is Bill Maher right?

However, two other matters surrounding the foul thrust it into national consciousness. First, Angel Reese — a rival of Clark’s during their college days and a teammate of Carter’s on the Sky — could be seen celebrating the needless foul on the sideline. (That backfired in more ways than one; Clark converted the free throw from the foul, which turned out to be the margin of victory in the Indiana Fever’s 71-70 win over the Sky.)

Also, Carter refused to answer questions about the foul after the game — and when she addressed it on June 3, she refused to apologize, as well.

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“I don’t have any regrets with anything,” she told reporters. “I’m going to compete and play 100 percent hard no matter who it is, like I said, or who we’re playing.”

That brings us to Maher — who, like many of us, didn’t even care about the WNBA until Clark, one of several players pegged as generational talents selected in this year’s draft, began starring in the league.

“Women’s basketball got on my radar, like everybody’s, because of Caitlin Clark, and the other girls in the league are delighted for her success,” he said to laughter, before adding, “I’m joking, of course. They f***ing hate her.”

Maher then showed the clip of the body check and noted the difference between the NBA and WNBA.

“See if this was men, they’d defend each other on their same team,” he said.

“I mean, men will fight from two teams, but when somebody checks you on who’s on your team, you defend that guy. I’m just saying men have their bad parts. We’re toxic. We’re dogs.

“But only women would do this. Women are catty. Even the ones on her own team. … The league is very lesbian, and she’s not, and there’s race. There’s a lot going on.”

He also quoted former NBA’er Matt Barnes, who was critical of Clark’s teammates: “‘Where the f*** are her teammates at? I’ve seen a couple of girls smirk when she’s got knocked down, half-a** to pick her up. You guys are supposed to be a family.'”

“It’s your guys’ f***ing job to have her back and to have each others’ backs,” Maher added.

WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some readers may find offensive.

Now, as for race — well, you don’t need to look very hard to see where that comes from. As for Carter’s sexuality, that’s not exactly public knowledge. However, according to a 2019 study, 28.7 percent of the WNBA identifies as LGBT.

That’s just slightly over 400 percent more than the 7.1 percent of Americans that identify as LGBT, according to a 2022 Gallup survey.

Now, is this the reason why Clark is being targeted?

Knowing what’s in a person’s heart of hearts is somewhat above my pay grade — but what I can tell you is that those defending Carter and those making it rough on Clark have emphasized her white, straight privilege. It’s not exactly a torturous path to assume that identity has something to do with excusing these fouls, if not the fouls themselves.

But not many are willing to come out and explicitly say that, like Bill Maher, voice of reason. It’s amazing: If you’d asked me five years ago, I’d say that me typing those words was even less likely than me actually caring about the WNBA. If you needed any more proof 2024 is one of the strangest years in recent memory, there you go.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture