Pat McAfee Issues Apology to Fever’s Caitlin Clark After Viral Rant

Caitlin Clark

Getty Fever star Caitlin Clark at Barclays Center on June 02, 2024 in New York City.

ESPN analyst Pat McAfee delivered a segment about Indiana Fever star Caitlin Clark on his eponymous show that didn’t quite land with viewers.

McAfee’s choice of words received immediate backlash on social media and the former NFL punter issued an apology on X.

“I shouldn’t have used ‘white b****’ as a descriptor of Caitlin Clark. No matter the context.. even if we’re talking about race being a reason for some of the stuff happening… I have way too much respect for her and women to put that into the universe.

“My intentions when saying it were complimentary just like the entire segment but, a lot of folks are saying that it certainly wasn’t at all. That’s 100% on me and for that I apologize… I have sent an apology to Caitlin as well. Everything else I said… still alllllll facts. #Journalism #WNBAProgrum #SheIsTheOne.”

During the June 3 episode of “The Pat McAfee Show,” the host went off on the current state of the WNBA. He attempted to give Clark her flowers for the league’s massive growth in popularity since she became the No. 1 overall pick.

“What the WNBA currently has is what we like to describe as a cash cow, there is a superstar,” McAfee said. “And we’re not saying that the players on the court need to act any differently. That’s the athletes are going to do what the athletes are going to do in any sport. I think we’re all learning, that the WNBA… that’s old-school football, baby.”

“I would like the media people that continue to say, ‘This rookie class, this rookie class, this rookie class’. Nah, just call it for what it is — there’s one white b**** for the Indiana team who is a superstar,” — referring to Clark.

UPDATE: McAfee opened Tuesday’s show with a more in-depth apology. He revealed, “Clark said, ‘It was all good. No blood. We move forward. And she appreciates us reaching out and apologizing.'”

Former NBA Champ Kendrick Perkins Sent a Message to Pat McAfee & Other Men Using ‘Triggering Words for Women’

Former NBA star turned commentator Kendrick Perkins called out McAfee and several fellow ESPN co-workers in how they are discussing the WNBA.

“I’m looking at guys like Charles Barkley, LeBron James, Stephen A., Shannon Sharpe. Why do I point out those four guys? You have to be careful about the words you put out there,” Perkins said. “The word hating, the word jealous, those are triggering words for women… They have to do a better job with that because it’s not hating and it’s not jealousy. It’s competition.”

“At the end of the day, you have to respect the WNBA,” Perkins continued. “You have to respect the women that are playing, respect the women that are covering the game and you have to make sure you do it in great fashion.”

Charles Barkley recently came to Clark’s defense against the “petty” women “hating on” the rookie superstar. LeBron James defended Clark while appearing on the “Mind the Game” podcast. “Don’t get it twisted,” James said. “Don’t get it f***** up. Caitlin Clark is the reason why a lot of great things is going to happen for the WNBA.”

Sky Head Coach Teresa Weatherspoon Issued a Statement on Chennedy Carter’s Flagrant-1 on Caitlin Clark

McAfee’s comments come amid the drama following the Fever’s 71-70 win over the Chicago Sky. Earlier in the day, Sky head coach Teresa Weatherspoon issued a statement on guard Chennedy Carter’s late third-quarter hip-check on Clark.

“Physical play, intensity, and a competitive spirit are hallmarks of Chicago Sky basketball. Chennedy got caught up in the heat of the moment in an effort to win the game,” Weatherspoon wrote.

“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.”

During the June 1 game, Carter yelled, “You’re a b****” and shoved Clark to the ground. While the refs called a foul, after reviewing the play, the WNBA upgraded it to a flagrant-1 violation, the AP reported the following day.

Carter, who led the Sky with 19 points, addressed reporters after the game but refused to answer when asked if Clark said anything to her before the shove. “I ain’t answering no Caitlin Clark questions,” she said.