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Indianapolis Columnist Apologizes For ‘Awkward’ Heart Gesture To Caitlin Clark

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Indiana Fever's Caitlin Clark during a WNBA news conference in Indianapolis on Wednesday.Darron Cummings / AP

(CTN News) – In what soon became an “awkward” interaction, an Indianapolis sports columnist apologized for flashing a heart symbol with his hands and for the subsequent comments made toward new Indiana Fever player Caitlin Clark.

During Clark’s introductory press conference, Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel made the heart symbol, which Clark responded, “Do you like that?”?” To which Doyel replied, “I like the fact that you are here.”

“It’s pretty cool to do that after every game with my family,” Clark said after breaking both the NCAA women’s and men’s scoring records with the Iowa Hawkeyes.

As soon as you start doing it to me, we’ll get along just fine,” Doyel replied before moving on to a question about Clark’s decision to turn pro and enter the draft.

The apology was made by Doyel in an online column published on Wednesday night.

In his letter, he wrote, “I’m devastated to realize that I contributed to the problem.”.

In his article, Doyel explains that he has a reputation for having awkward conversations with people before asking brash questions. He has done this for years with coaches of the Indianapolis Colts as well as with players from Purdue University and Indiana University.

In addition, he described himself as “another insensitive man” and claimed that he offended Clark and her family as he tried to be “clever” and “welcoming.”

Is it possible that I have erred in my judgment after going through denial, anger, and finally acceptance? Is it me? I realize now that what I said and the manner in which I said it was incorrect, incorrect, incorrect. As a matter of fact, it was just incorrect,” Doyel wrote. It is my sincere apologies, Caitlin Clark.

Late Wednesday night, NBC News was not able to reach Clark or any of her Indianapolis representatives for comment.

During her sophomore season at the University of Iowa, Clark broke the women’s all-time scoring record in February, and then broke the men’s record a month later. The total number of points she scored during her career was 3,951.

For the first time, the women’s NCAA championship game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the South Carolina Gamecocks attracted more viewers than the men’s Indianapolis championship game.

Although Iowa lost the championship to South Carolina, Clark was praised by Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley for her contribution to women’s basketball.

A testament to Clark’s popularity, her Indiana Fever jersey became the top-selling jersey for a draft pick in the history of the sport. Clark has appeared on both “TODAY” and “Saturday Night Live.” 


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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