Serena Williams Speaks Out in Support of Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark

Getty Caitlin Clark

There aren’t many people on Earth who can relate to Caitlin Clark’s meteoric rise to fame as a teenager and now a young adult. But maybe Serena Williams can. Clark took the college basketball world by storm as a freshman, and fans and media have followed her every move since then, from the Final Four to the WNBA.

Being a magnet for TV cameras and a target for haters on social media must be exhausting. Even though Williams didn’t come up in tennis during the same era, she knows what it’s like to be regarded as one of the best in her craft at such a young age.

Williams spoke to the Associated Press at the premiere of her docuseries “In the Arena: Serena Williams” on Thursday, June 14, and offered some praise and advice for the Indiana Fever rookie.

“I just love that she tries to stay grounded,” Williams said. “She said she doesn’t look at her social [media], I get it, I don’t either. I think it’s so important to just continue doing what she’s doing, no matter what other people do.”

Williams then gave her take on why Clark — the 2024 NCAA National Player of the Year and frontrunner for Rookie of the Year — has her share of haters.

“If people are negative, it’s because they can’t do what you do, basically,” she said. “And hopefully she’ll continue to do what she’s doing.”

Caitlin Clark Is Playing Through Struggles

Like most rookies, Clark has had her ups and downs so far for the Fever. Most recently, she has dealt with the low points. Last time out against the Atlanta Dream, the prolific scorer tallied just 7 points and shot 3-11 from the field. Granted, that’s only two games removed from a 30-point outburst against the Mystics, but that came right after a 1-10 shooting performance against the Liberty.

Through it all, Clark is shooting only 32% from three and is on track to shatter the league’s single-season turnover record. Alyssa Thomas currently holds that honor with 137 last year. Clark is on track to beat that number by more than 80.

Clark responded to her recent tough stretch by getting up extra shots by herself at Gainbridge Arena following game against the Dream, long after fans had gone home.

She’s Still A Basketball Player

While Clark has been the subject of plenty of headlines off the court, including her Olympic team omission, awkward questions from reporters, and people using her name to promote their own hateful agendas, it’s important to remember: She’s not the one making those headlines.

Clark is a basketball player and she’s showing up every day to play basketball.

“I think it’s hard for people to remember, I just love playing basketball,” Clark said, according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post. “This is my job. This is what I’m here for. I’m not here for all the other stuff.”

The Connecticut Sun’s Dijonnai Carrington criticized her for that comment.

“How one can not be bothered by their name being used to justify racism, bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia & the intersectionalities of them all is nuts,” she wrote on X.

That caused Clark to clarify her comments the next day. Speaking to reporters, she made it clear she did not want people using her name to promote a hateful agenda.

“People should not be using my name to push those agendas. It’s disappointing. It’s not acceptable,” she said. “Treating every single woman in this league with the same amount of respect, I think, it’s just a basic human thing that everybody should do.”

This won’t be the last time Clark has to address something like this, whether she wants to or not. It’s part of the job as her celebrity has now transcended sports itself. That’s why Serena Williams is happy she’s staying grounded.

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