Missing The Point: It Was Open Season On Jemele Hill After Caitlin Clark Dropped 41, But Can’t Clark Be Great and Still Benefit From Biased Media Coverage?

Caitlin Clark went Kobe Bryant-postal on LSU, scoring 41 points and helping Iowa advance to the Final Four for the second straight season. 

Then the Jemele Hill haters came out in full swing, challenging comments she made prior to the game, that the market was oversaturated with Clark coverage and college basketball’s all-time leading scorer got more love and credit than deserved for elevating women’s because she is a white player. 

Twitter struck back at Hill’s comments because Clark had a good game, but can’t Jemele Hill be right and Clark still be great for women’s basketball at the same time? 

Clark has been the darling of most mainstream media and the catalyst for this women’s college basketball explosion that has people talking about the golden girls instead of the big boys who usually rule the March Madness landscape. 

Being a white basketball star always makes for a polarizing figure, because we don’t have many of them. The Clark dynamic has taken over conversations about race, competition and women’s sports. 

Hill’s comments come on the heels of Ice Cube offering Caitlin Clark $5 million to join his Big3 League and Black Twitter, former and current WNBA players lost their minds because they felt there were other choices such as Angel Reese or maybe even some current Black WNBA players that Cube could have chosen.

In retrospect, the backlash was kind of silly and Clark proved that she is a much more marketable and talented player than Reese — even without all the extras.

Everyone chimed in leading up to the rematch between Clark and LSU star Reese, who got the best of Clark in last season’s NCAA Tournament final.

Jemele Hill Says CaitlIn Clark Gets Mega Coverage Because She’s White

Former ESPN host Jemele Hill said that she had a problem with how the media is covering Caitlin Clark, prior to the win over LSU. 

That of course created a firestorm, because when Hill speaks it’s usually to point out a misrepresentation or some controversial issue in gender or race, which usually automatically divides people in the conversation. There’s a contingent of right-wing media and affiliates who label her as a “racial rebel rouser.” 

Hill is never one to back down from a good showdown and argues that, despite Clark’s greatness, the media covers white players like Clark — and UConn star Paige Bueckers — more than great Black players like A’ja Wilson.

“Everything about this sport has been trending up for years now. It did not just start with Caitlin Clark,” Hill said in an interview with Megan Armstrong of Uproxx.

Women’s Hoop Explosion Didn’t Start With Caitlin Clark

Women’s basketball certainly didn’t start with Caitlin Clark. There’s a laundry list of transcending and pioneering women’s players from Cheryl Miller to Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi to Dawn Staley. 

Clark, however, is undoubtedly the player who has ignited the interest of the casual fan. So while Clark certainly proved her superiority as a basketball player, the oversaturated media coverage and the attacks on and failure to give equal coverage to other great players is Hill’s gripe. And she’s not wrong. 

UConn’s Paige Bueckers, a white college basketball star, expressed the same sentiment Hill was alluding too, during her ESPYS speech in 2021.

“A study I cited recently for a piece I wrote in The Atlantic [found that] when you compare [the coverage] of, say, someone like (Paige) Bueckers, Sabrina Ionescu, or Caitlin Clark to A’ja Wilson, who has dominated basketball at every single level. She’s probably the best player in the world right now. And I’m not trying to act like she gets no coverage, but the coverage that sometimes non-white women get, or specifically Black women get, is not even close. It’s two-to-one,” Hill added.

Hill believes JuJu Watkins and the ballers on the undefeated Gamecocks team deserve more press.

“I mean, Aliyah Boston was the best player in college just a couple of years ago. And she did not get even a 10th of this media coverage that Caitlin Clark did. Now, some people would say, ‘Oh, it’s her game.’ But I don’t think it was that. She’s tremendous on television, and I’m thinking, What a missed opportunity for the national media to really elevate who she was as a person. Caitlin Clark seems to be a great personality, but it is not like Caitlin Clark is walking around saying crazy stuff. They’re just covering her excellence, and that’s good enough. Whereas it feels like for Black athletes to get the same amount of coverage or even fair coverage, there has to be something extra [beyond basketball].”

We all know that basketball is one of those sports that often inspire conversations surrounding race, because it is dominated by Black athletes. Hill is right, that mainstream media has put all of its resources and coverage potential behind Clark. Hill will also admit that has benefited women’s basketball, she did give Iowa and Clark their props throughout the game via X. 

Conversations like these are what’s hyping the women’s basketball scene right now. And whether you agree with Hill or not or even understand what she’s saying, Caitlin Calrk is getting disproportionate coverage and deservedly so.

For More TSL Coverage:

“We Have The Best Player In America” | Ice Cube Offers Caitlin Clark $5M To Play In Big3, But Nobody’s Talking About Paige Bueckers and JuJu Watkins

Hailey Van Lith Took It There | You’re Mad Because She Owned Her Privilege and Rides For “Dirty Debutantes” (theshadowleague.com)

“You Can’t Do That In The Women’s Game” | Candace Parker Says Women’s Basketball Is Hurt By Overprotective Gatekeepers That Won’t Allow Criticism (theshadowleague.com)

Back to top