Caitlin Clark gets an apology from the reporter whose awkward interaction with her at a press conference went viral: 'I screwed up'

Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes celebrates a 67-58 win over the Iowa State Cyclones at Hilton Coliseum on December 6, 2023
The hand heart is one of Clark's signature gestures.David Purdy/Getty Images
  • An IndyStar sports columnist apologized for his exchange with Caitlin Clark at a press conference.

  • Gregg Doyel made Clark's hand heart towards her, making what he called a "clumsy and awkward" remark.

  • Doyel wrote in a column that what he said was "wrong," and apologized.

Indianapolis Star sports columnist Gregg Doyel apologized after an offputting exchange with No. 1 WNBA draft pick Caitlin Clark, saying in a column that he was "part of the problem."

Doyel and Clark interacted at Clark's welcome press conference for the Indiana Fever, where she will play professionally in the WNBA, on Wednesday. Video of the exchange circulated on X, formerly Twitter, after sports news outlet ClutchPoints transcribed the conversation. Doyel, per NBC News, made a hand heart symbol with Clark, prompting her to ask, "You like that?"

"I like that you're here," Doyel replied.

After Clark replied that she made the gesture to her family members after all her games, Doyel said, "Start doing it to me and we'll get along just fine."

Doyel has since apologized for the exchange in a post on X, where he called his remarks "clumsy and awkward." He also penned a column for IndyStar, reflecting on the moment and apologizing again.

"I'm devastated to realize I'm part of the problem," Doyel wrote in the column, published Thursday. "I screwed up Wednesday during my first interaction with No. 1 overall draft pick Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever."

Doyel wrote that he was known for "awkward conversations" with many male sports personalities like Indianapolis Colts coaches Chuck Pagano and Frank Reich. Initially, he said, he didn't understand why he should have treated Clark differently and why his comments were inappropriate. However, he wrote that after a conversation with a "woman I deeply respect," he realized that he shouldn't speak to Clark in the same manner he speaks to young, male athletes.

"I now realize what I said and how I said it was wrong, wrong, wrong. I mean it was just wrong," Doyel wrote. "Caitlin Clark, I'm so sorry."

Clark's business representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider