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IndyStar columnist apologizes after ‘oafish’ comment to Caitlin Clark

IndyStar columnist faces national backlash for Caitlin Clark question

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A lead sports columnist for the Indianapolis Star has apologized for a cringeworthy comment he made to Caitlin Clark during the basketball star’s Indiana Fever introductory press conference.

The moment happened live on WISH-TV during live coverage of Clark’s session with the media.

Greg Doyel – Caitlin Clark exchange

Gregg Doyel, in asking one of the first questions to Clark, identified himself and made the “heart hands” gesture that Clark does after games (also popularized by Taylor Swift).

“You like, you like that?” Clark responded, leading to the following exchange:

  • Doyel: “I like that you’re here. I like that you’re here.”
  • Clark: “I do that at my family after every game, so it’s pretty cool.”
  • Doyel: “Ok, well start doing that to me and we’ll get along just fine.”

Clark then responded to a question that she was excited that Indiana received the first pick in the WNBA draft and that it “couldn’t be scripted any better” that she will play for the Fever.

Doyel’s comment, however, drew criticism from around the country, including from Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports, who called for the newspaper to “do something” about Doyel.

Doyel apologized on X, calling his comment “clumsy and awkward” and that it happened in his “uniquely oafish way.”

In a column later posted to the IndyStar website, Doyel issued a longer apology, saying, “I’m devastated to realize I’m part of the problem. I screwed up Wednesday during my first interaction with No. 1 overall draft pick Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever.”

“In my haste to be clever, to be familiar and welcoming (or so I thought), I offended Caitlin and her family.

After going through denial, and then anger – I’m on the wrong side of this? Me??? – I now realize what I said and how I said it was wrong, wrong, wrong. I mean it was just wrong. 

Caitlin Clark, I’m so sorry.”