‘Inside the NBA’ star Charles Barkley defends Caitlin Clark from ‘petty women’ amid ‘pretty privilege’ claims over rookie’s meteoric WNBA rise

Charles Barkley blasted what he called ‘petty women’ who have criticized Caitlin Clark

‘Inside The NBA’ analyst Charles Barkley took time to blast those who have been critical of Indiana Fever star Caitlin Clark in recent days.

Barkley was reacting to a tweet from LeBron James, advising Clark to ‘Put your blinders on’ when it comes to backlash or hate from the public.

The analyst agreed, and took time before tip off of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Dallas Mavericks to clap back at Clark’s critics.

‘You women out there, y’all petty, man,’ Barkley began.

‘Hey, LeBron, you’re 100% right on these girls hating on Caitlin Clark – You’re all are petty girls.

Charles Barkley blasted what he called 'petty women' who have criticized Caitlin Clark

Clark is still in her rookie season, but she's already bringing increased attention to the WNBA

Clark is still in her rookie season, but she’s already bringing increased attention to the WNBA

‘I expect men to be petty because we’re the most insecure group in the world.

‘Y’all should be thinking that girl for getting y’all a** private charters. All the money in visibility that she bringing to the WNBA. Don’t be petty like dudes.

‘Listen, what she’s accomplished, give her her flowers. Stop being petty all you women out there. She got y’all a** charters.

‘She bringing all y’all this money to the table. But y’all being petty like dudes.

‘Lebron, you are 100% right. You all girls, stop being petted. Caitlin Clark, thank you for bringing all that money and shine to the WNBA.’

Draymond Green, who was on the desk, joked that Clark’s detractors are ‘gonna hate you even more now Chuck’.

Barkley replied, ‘Listen, they can’t do anything to me. They can hate on me, but that mailman better be in my d**n house the first and the 15th’, likely alluding to a bi-weekly pay schedule.

Clark’s rise in popularity through college has carried over to the pro ranks with an increase in attention to the WNBA widely attributed to her.

But that’s come with a number of people who have criticized that rise due to Clark’s skin color and what some are calling ‘pretty privilege’.

Jemele Hill said part of Clark's success is 'problematic' in an interview with the LA Times

Jemele Hill said part of Clark’s success is ‘problematic’ in an interview with the LA Times

Sunny Hostin insisted that Caitlin Clark's popularity comes from 'pretty and white privilege'

Sunny Hostin insisted that Caitlin Clark’s popularity comes from ‘pretty and white privilege’

On an episode of The View, contributor Sunny Hostin said she believes that Clark was much more marketable because she’s more relatable – meaning she’s white, straight, and benefits from ‘pretty privilege’.

‘I do think that there is a thing called pretty privilege,’ Hostin said. ‘There is a thing called White privilege. There is a thing called tall privilege, and we have to acknowledge that.’

‘And so part of it is about race because if you think about the Brittney Griners of the world, why did she have to go to play in Russia? Because they wouldn’t pay her,’ she said of the WNBA.

She continued: ‘Now, Caitlin Clark is bringing this money, these sponsorships, we hope, into the league, and other players will benefit from it. But I do think that she is more relatable to more people because she’s White, because she’s attractive, and unfortunately, there still is that stigma against the LGBTQ+ community.’

Former SportsCenter host and current Atlantic writer Jemele Hill holds a similar view, and told the LA Times, ‘We would all be very naive if we didn’t say race and her sexuality played a role in her popularity.

‘While so many people are happy for Caitlin’s success –  including the players; this has had such an enormous impact on the game – there is a part of it that is a little problematic because of what it says about the worth and the marketability of the players who are already there.’

Hill continued,  ‘It’s not jealousy. It’s just the fact that in our society, Black women are often erased from the picture.

‘While Caitlin Clark’s success should be widely celebrated, there are various points where we have seen dynamic phenoms and how they have been able to popularize the game. It’s just that, for whatever reason, could be race, could be gender, could be a myriad of factors, that same marketing muscle that seems very intentional about making sure that Caitlin Clark is a superstar was missing for them.’

Two-time league MVP A'ja Wilson said that Clark's race is 'a huge thing' for her marketability

Two-time league MVP A’ja Wilson said that Clark’s race is ‘a huge thing’ for her marketability

Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson said similar views when it came to Clark in the aftermath of an announcement about the latter’s signature shoe.

‘I think it’s a huge thing. I think a lot of people may say it’s not about Black and white, but to me, it is,’ Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson said when asked in an interview with the Associated Press about the race element in Clark’s popularity and before she recently signed two major endorsement deals.

‘It really is because you can be top notch at what you are as a Black woman, but yet maybe that’s something that people don’t want to see.

‘They don’t see it as marketable, so it doesn’t matter how hard I work. It doesn’t matter what we all do as Black women, we’re still going to be swept underneath the rug. That’s why it boils my blood when people say it’s not about race because it is.’

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