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Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark attend the 2024 WNBA Draft

Source: Sportico / Getty

WNBA rookies Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese faced off for the first time in their professional careers on Saturday, June 1 when the Chicago Sky took on the Indiana Fever.

Though it was also the first professional game for former South Carolina Gamecock and national champion, Kamilla Cardoso, all eyes were on Reese and Clark.

However, a series of plays between Clark and Reese’s teammate Chennedy Carter caused the internet to explode with claims of racism, targeting and unfair physical play.

Clark was seen elbowing Carter in a possession that resulted in an Indiana bucket. Then, Carter appeared to hip-check the Fever rookie to the ground after calling her a “b****.” After the Fever’s victory over the Sky, Carter refused to answer questions about Clark. She didn’t want to clarify whether she acted in retaliation.

The Caitlin Clark Conspiracy Theories Paint Her As A Victim While Ignoring The Experiences Of Her Black Rookie Counterparts

WNBA: JUN 01 Chicago Sky at Indiana Fever

Source: Icon Sportswire / Getty

Of course, Clark fans were up in arms about the athletic altercation. It further fueled the narrative of unjust targeting due to Clark’s fame and notoriety. That surely has nothing to do with her own habit of physicality or her status as a rookie.

It also conveniently ignores the tough play other rookies, like Reese, have encountered throughout the early part of the WNBA season.

Adding fuel to the fire, the league’s latest great white hope Clark remarked on the treatment she’s being given saying,

“I think everybody is physical with me,” the 22-year-old claimed. “They get away with things that probably other people don’t get away with.”

She continued,

“It is what it is, honestly. I feel like I’m getting hammered.”

Of course, her fans agree wholeheartedly as they’ve fashioned her a white Jackie Robinson breaking down the color barrier of the WNBA that has held white players down for far too long.

In the meantime, Clark’s brother and boyfriend have been busy liking derogatory tweets aimed at Black players.

The Fever’s win over the Sky notches only their second victory of the season as they seem to still be ironing out the kinks in their chemistry. Hopefully, Clark is able to focus on bringing a winning mindset to Indiana for the rest of the season and her fans can find some common sense to hold onto.

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