Stephen A. Smith Says WNBA Players Are ‘Jealous’ Of Caitlin Clark

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 20: Stephen A. Smith attends the Harold and Carole Pump Foundation Gala at The Beverly Hilton on August 20, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Sports broadcaster Stephen A. Smith said WNBA players are “jealous” of rookie Caitlin Clark and all the attention she’s getting after recently entering the league.

During Monday’s episode of “First Take,” Smith reacted to the WNBA upgrading a common foul to flagrant after Chicago Sky player Chennedy Carter pushed the Indiana Fever player to the ground during a recent game, Mediaite reported.

“There are girls — young ladies — in the WNBA who are jealous of Caitlin Clark,” Smith said. “She is a white girl that has come into the league. She has burst onto the scene. She hasn’t proven herself yet.”

“It’s not even about them thinking they’re better than her because they probably know it at this particular juncture because they’ve been playing on a level she just arrived to,” he added. “Where the resentment comes in is the hard work, the commitment, the dedication, the pounding of the payment, the being on the grind.”

“All of these years trying to uplift this brand that is the WNBA and is women’s professional basketball; and all of their efforts were in vain until this girl comes along and take the league by storm — takes sport by storm — in college and has accomplished in a short period of time what they haven’t been able to,” Smith continued.

The sportscaster also said that he would think these players would be “smart enough to recognize and appreciate” the attention Clark has brought to the league and therefore “piggyback off of that to their benefit, and praise her and support her for it while competing on the court against her and trying to take her out.”

The comments were similar to what NBA legends Charles Barkley and LeBron James have said about the reception and backlash against Clark since being picked number 1 overall in the 2024 WNBA draft.

During TNT’s “Inside the NBA” pregame show, host Barkley reacted to the criticism against Clark after the Fever fell 0-5 to start the season and said “You women out there, y’all petty, man.” He also talked about the comments James made on the “Mind the Game“ podcast when he slammed the criticism against the rookie of the Indiana Fever team.

“LeBron, you’re 100% right on these girls hating on Caitlin Clark,” Barkley said. “Y’all petty, girls. I expect men to be petty because we’re the most insecure group in the world.”

“Y’all should be thanking that girl for getting y’all a** private charters, all the money and visibility she’s bringing to the WNBA,” he added.

James — drafted No. 1 overall in the NBA draft in 2003 — said he’s been where Caitlin is now and offered her support, saying that the best thing she could do was put on blinders and keep working, calling the criticism “the weirdest thing in the world.”


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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Stephen A. Smith Says WNBA Players Are ‘Jealous’ Of Caitlin Clark