Sports

Gregg Doyel should have threatened to quit IndyStar amid Caitlin Clark punishment, longtime columnist says

After a rather creepy encounter with Caitlin Clark, the IndyStar suspended Gregg Doyel for two weeks and ruled he would not be allowed to cover the Indiana Fever.

Doyel took a lot of heat on social media for his bizarre interaction with the now WNBA star. Before he asked her a question at her welcoming press conference, Doyel formed a heart symbol with his hands for Clark.

Clark asked Doyel whether he liked that, and he responded, “I like that you’re here.” 

Caitlin Clark and Greg Doyel split

Caitlin Clark and Gregg Doyel photo. (Getty Images/IMAGN)

Clark said she makes the gesture with her hands to her family “after every game.”

“Start doing it to me, and we’ll get along,” Doyel responded.

While talking to Christie Sides, the Fever’s head coach, he referred to Clark as “that” and “it.”

Doyel later apologized, saying his actions were “clumsy and awkward.”

Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote shared a similar sentiment: “What he did was cringeworthy. It was sexist. It was creepy. It was juvenile. He deserved to be suspended for a couple of weeks,” he said on “The Dan LeBatard Show” on Tuesday.

Caitlin Clark warms up

Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever warms up prior to a game against the Connecticut Sun  at Mohegan Sun Arena on May 14, 2024 in Uncasville, Connecticut.  (Elsa/Getty Images)

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However, he says the outlet’s decision to take him off the WNBA beat was too harsh.

“I don’t believe what he did was a journalistic felony. I believe it was a dumb misdemeanor. But it’s a felonious penalty when you tell the lead columnist in a city welcoming its new big star that he can’t write about her indefinitely. I wouldn’t stand for that. 

“If the ‘Miami Herald’ tried to tell me that and the role was reversed, I would use whatever leverage I had to say, ‘That’s not standing with me.’ You need to threaten to quit. You need to make a mess of this if you need to.”

“They can’t tell me what I can cover and what I can’t cover because I misspoke at an introductory press conference.”

Gregg Doyel photo

Gregg Doyel, IndyStar sports columnist. (Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Clark made her WNBA debut on Tuesday night in Connecticut against the Sun. The former Iowa Hawkeyes’ star led the team with 20 points but was 5 of 15 from the field in Indiana’s 92-71 loss. 

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

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