Caitlin Clark takes hard foul: WNBA hands out Flagrant 1 after reviewing cheap shot against Clark



After a league review, the WNBA has upgraded Chennedy Carter’s foul on No. 1 overall pick Caitlin Clark in the third quarter of the Indiana Fever’s 71-70 win over the Chicago Sky on Saturday afternoon to a Flagrant 1. Carter will not be fined. 

Late in the third, Carter knocked down a mid-range jumper, then threw a shoulder into Clark’s back and sent her tumbling to the ground. The two guards had been enjoying a competitive back-and-forth for a few possessions earlier in the frame, but there was no apparent reason for Carter to escalate the situation to such an extent. 

The referees briefly reviewed the incident, but did not upgrade it to a flagrant or technical during the game. They did, however, deem it an away from the play foul because it happened before the ball was inbounded. 

After the game, Carter refused to answer questions about what happened. 

Here’s her full exchange with a reporter, Matthew Byrne:

Byrne: “On the play before bumping in with Caitlin, it seemed like she turned to you a little bit. After —

Carter: “I ain’t answering no Caitlin Clark questions.”

Byrne: “Did she say anything to you?”

Carter: “I don’t know what she said.”

Byrne: “What did you say to her?”

Carter: “I didn’t say anything.”

The interaction was then cut off by Sky head coach Teresa Weatherspoon. Nearly 48 hours after the incident, Weatherspoon issued a statement on what happened. 

“Physical play, intensity, and a competitive spirit are hallmarks of Chicago Sky basketball,” Weatherspoon said. “Chennedy got caught up in the heat of the moment in an effort to win the game. She and I have discussed what happened and that it was not appropriate, nor is it what we do or who we are. Chennedy understands that there are better ways to handle situations on the court, and she will learn from this, as we all will.

“As a team, we will grow together and continue to work hard to display strong leadership and set a positive example for our competitors, fans, and partners.”

Clark, for her part, called it “not a basketball play” during her in-game interview between the third and fourth quarters, and didn’t have much more to say following the game. 

“Yeah, I wasn’t expecting that,” Clark said. “But it’s just like, respond, calm down and let your play do the talking. It is what it is. It’s a physical game, go make the free throw and then execute on offense. Feel like that’s what we did.”

Clark did, however, expand on her feelings about the overall physicality she’s dealing with to start her career. Earlier in the week, she expressed frustration with what she views as a double standard when it comes to contact from opponents. In the wake of the dust-up with Carter, she gave some insight into how she tries to handle those events during the game. 

“It is what it is,” Clark said. “I feel like I’m just at the point where you accept it and don’t retaliate. Just let them hit you, be what it is, don’t let it get in your head and know it’s coming. I think at this point, I know I’m gonna take a couple hard shots a game, and that’s what it is. 

“I’m trying not to let it bother me, and just stay in the game and stay in what’s important. Because usually it’s the second person that gets caught if you retaliate or something. I’m just trying to stay in the game and focus on my team and focus on what’s important.”

Fever head coach Christie Sides called Carter’s foul “unacceptable” on social media and said “something has to be done.” 

Clark finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists as the Fever improved to 2-8 on the season. 





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