Reporter Hit With Big Consequence After Cringeworthy Comment To Caitlin Clark Goes Viral

An Indianapolis sports reporter is facing consequences due to a cringeworthy comment he made towards Caitlin Clark

Gregg Doyel, who works for the Indianapolis Star, shared an odd exchange with the former University of Iowa star on April 17, after she joined the Indiana Fever as their newest point guard. During Clark's introductory press event, where Doyel was in attendance, she said, "This is a dream come true ... I can't think of a better place for myself to start my career. A place that loves basketball, that supports women's basketball, and an organization that really does things the right way ... I'm just very thankful that they have a belief in me" (via Today).

However, things took a turn when Doyel addressed Clark directly. "Hi Caitlin, Gregg Doyel, Indy Star," said Doyel during the press conference before mimicking Clark's famous heart hands, which she regularly flashed at her family during games. "You like that?" asked Clark, prompting Doyel to answer, "I like that you're here." Clark replied, "Yeah, I do that to my family after every game." Doyel replied again, saying, "Well, start doing that to me and we'll get along just fine." Shortly after, social media took Doyel to task for the inappropriate commentary that temporarily distracted fans from Clark's athletic prowess and accomplishments. However, his consequences extended further than social media's anger.

Gregg Doyel has been suspended

Gregg Doyel's inappropriate exchange with Caitlin Clark has reportedly gotten him temporarily suspended from the Indianapolis Star. According to People, who cited a paywalled report by local Indianapolis reporter Bob Kravitz, the Indianapolis Star has benched Doyel for two weeks, until May 13. Based on Kravitz's post, Doyel will continue reporting on the Indianapolis Fever upon his return. However, he reportedly won't be allowed to attend in-person games or sit at the post-game press conferences.

However, the Washington Post reported that The Star has removed Doyel's ability to report directly on Clark or her team, the Indiana Fever, altogether. "Indianapolis Star sports columnist Gregg Doyel will not be covering the Indiana Fever," said the Indianapolis Star's spokesperson, Lark-Marie Anton in a statement to the publication. While Doyel has not publicly addressed his suspension, he made a brief comment via email to NBC News. "Getting tired here, so taking some time off and won't be checking email," said Doyel. "If I can be of service when I return in May 13, please let me know then," he added.

The Indiana Fever hasn't commented on Doyel's suspension or exchange with Clark.

Gregg Doyel's apology to Caitlin Clark fell flat

Gregg Doyel's suspension from the Indianapolis Star came after he apologized to basketball star Caitlin Clark on social media. "Today in my uniquely oafish way, while welcoming @CaitlinClark22 to Indy, I formed my hands into her signature," tweeted Doyel on X, formerly known as Twitter, on April 17. "My comment afterward was clumsy and awkward. I sincerely apologize. Please know my heart (literally and figuratively) was well-intentioned."

However, Doyel's apology wasn't well received by much of the online sports community. "You can say it had good intentions...but you are a reporter. You are a journalist. You are a professional. You KNOW that you shouldn't have done that," tweeted one commenter in response. "It wasn't clumsy. It wasn't awkward. It was wrong." 

Doyel apologized again during a post for the Indianapolis Star, where he admitted that he's "part of the problem" in the headline. "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," wrote Doyel. He continued, "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."