Billie Jean King Caitlin Clark
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The legendary women’s tennis trailblazer Billie Jean King is speaking out to defend Caitlin Clark after she was on the receiving end of a hard foul from Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter on Saturday night. King went so far as to say that Clark is “the reason” for the increase in interest in the WNBA.

But first, check out the controversial hard foul in the video below.

King Sounds Off On Clark

King, 80, believes that the popularity of Clark marks a turning point for the WNBA when it comes to interest in the league. That’s why she thinks the WNBA should make sure not to blow it when it comes to handling Clark.

“This generation is so important for the WNBA, you have to set an example,” King wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “Children are watching. How do you want to be remembered?”

“This generation has a chance to set this league on fire,” she added. “Don’t blow it with animosity. Do not blow it. Just play ball.”

WNBA: Indiana Fever at New York Liberty
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Related: Tennis Legend Martina Navratilova Defends Caitlin Clark – Reveals ‘The Best Revenge’

Clark Is ‘A Superstar’

King doubled down on this in an interview with USA Today, explaining that “this year is a turning point, and it’s because of Caitlin.”

King went on to talk about all the current interest in women’s basketball in the wake of the college records that Clark broke. She pointed out how many fans wore No. 22 jerseys, which was Clark’s number when she played for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

“Things are going good for the WNBA, for women’s sports,” King said. “They are amazing for everyone with all these sellouts and all this interest, and we’ve got to keep that going now.”

“Whether you like it or not, Caitlin is the reason for so much of this interest. She’s a superstar,” King continued. “When she does well, everyone does better. The league is going to do better. The veterans were the building blocks and now Caitlin and this rookie class have this incredible platform to take the league to an entirely new place.”

King recalled when Chris Evert broke into the tennis world at the age of 16 in the early 1970s. King explained that at the time, she told veteran players to embrace the additional eyeballs that Evert was bringing to their sport. She stepped up to make sure that Evert was treated fairly, and she’s calling on other WNBA players to do the same for Clark.

Tennis: WTA Finals
Susan Mullane-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Related: Paige Spiranac Defends Caitlin Clark – ‘A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats’

Clark Gets The Last Laugh Over Carter

This comes amidst widespread outrage over Carter carrying out a hard foul on Clark. Thankfully, Clark got the last laugh that night. Indiana Fever defeated Chicago Sky 71-70 on Saturday, snapping a three-game losing streak. This was also the Fever’s first home win of the season. Clark totaled 11 points, eight rebounds, six assists and one steal.

Clark’s sole free throw stemming from the Carter foul was the difference.

The next day, after reviewing the play, WNBA officials upgraded the foul to a Flagrant I.

King knows a thing or two about women’s sports, so the WNBA might want to listen to her when it comes to Clark. Only time will tell if they take King’s advice and learn to embrace all the interest that Clark is bringing to their sport.

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