Dave Portnoy joins furious backlash after ‘sexist pervert’ embarrassed Caitlin Clark at her first press conference with inuendo over her heart gesture

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • A reporter imitated Clark’s hand gesture where she makes a heart to end games
  • The reaction to the exchange has labeled the reporter as creepy and classless
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news 

Barstool Sports boss Dave Portnoy has branded a journalist as a ‘sexist pervert’ and is demanding his employer take action after his awkward exchange with basketball star Caitlin Clark.

Clark faced the media on Wednesday after being selected by the Indiana Fever with the first overall pick in the WNBA Draft

During the press briefing, Indy Star Sports reporter Gregg Doyel imitated the former Iowa star’s heart-hands gesture before saying: ‘Start doing it to me and we’ll get along just fine.

Following the incident, Portnoy took to X and urged the publication to address Doyel’s ‘nauseating’ behavior. 

‘Caitlin Clark’s Indiana Fever Career Begins With Gregg Doyel Being A sexiest pervert at Introductory Press Conference,’ Portnoy wrote. ‘@IndyStarSports do something about this pervert.’

‘To clarify I meant to call Gregg Doyle a sexist pervert. Which he is based on his nauseating actions today,’ Portnoy added later. 

Caitlin Clark looked shocked at the exchange with a reporter during her first presser in Indiana on Wednesday. During the presser, Gregg Doyel of Indy Star Sports imitated Clark’s heart-hands gesture before saying: ‘Start doing it to me and we’ll get along just fine’

Dave Portnoy labelled Gregg Doyel a 'sexist pervert' after Caitlin Clark's press conference

Dave Portnoy labelled Gregg Doyel a ‘sexist pervert’ after Caitlin Clark’s press conference 

Other prominent voices took issue with the reporter’s comments, including CBC Sports senior contributor Shireen Ahmed. She even suggested Doyel should be stripped of his credentials.

‘Almost every one of my women colleagues & students in sport media and sports journalism are sharing that clip of Gregg Doyel and Caitlin Clark with disgust,’ Ahmed wrote on X. ‘We are rightly furious and fed up. His creds should be revoked and offered to an unentitled journalist who respects women.’

Katie Mox of CBS Sports, meanwhile, added: ‘What happened to Caitlin Clark today at her first press conference in Indy was really gross. I hope she gets an apology.’

The Fever star endured an awkward exchange with Doyel after he imitated the celebratory heart-hands gesture Clark gives to her family after every game.

The gesture Clark does at the end of games is seen here, with the former Iowa star smiling

The gesture Clark does at the end of games is seen here, with the former Iowa star smiling

‘I like that you’re here. I like that you’re here,’ Doyel said, to which Clark responded: ‘I do that at my family after every game.’ Doyel went on to say: ‘OK. Well listen, start doing it to me and we’ll get along just fine,’ before asking his question.

Later on Wednesday, Doyel apologized for his actions after clips of their exchange went viral.  

‘Today in my uniquely oafish way, while welcoming @CaitlinClark22 to Indy, I formed my hands into her signature,’ he wrote on X. 

‘My comment afterward was clumsy and awkward. I sincerely apologize. Please know my heart (literally and figuratively) was well-intentioned. I will do better.’

Clark, bewildered by the reporter’s gesture and trying to make a good first impression with her new team, was nice but clearly not amused, saying ‘you like that?’ upon seeing the gesture. 

Clark was selected by the Indiana Fever with the first overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft

Clark was selected by the Indiana Fever with the first overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft 

Clark did not know what to make of the final comment with a shocked look on her face and continued on with the press conference. 

Doyel has been blasted online for the interaction, with some calling for the Fever to revoke his credentials over the exchange. 

Interest in Clark has given the Fever to completely change the trajectory of their franchise, similarly to how LeBron James elevated the Cleveland Cavaliers during his two stints with the team. 

And while the Fever wanted Clark’s message of helping the team get back to the postseason as the lasting message, her exchange with Doyel might unfortunately prevail. 

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

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