alexi lalas caitlin clark
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Soccer fans are sure to remember the great Alexi Lalas, who played on the men’s 1994 World Cup team. He knows a thing or two about pro sports.

And he’s fed up with the way the WNBA has been handling the Caitlin Clark situation.

RELATED: Caitlin Clark Is ‘Being Targeted’ By Other WNBA Players, UCONN’s Geno Auriemma Warns

Alexi Lalas Sounds Off on Caitlin Clark

The former defensive great has been seeing the same things as other fans. It almost seems like there’s a concerted effort to not protect Caitlin Clark, or even really defend her verbally.

Instead, she gets attacks from the media about various kinds of “privilege” she has, and this “privilege” means she’s fair game. (OK, no one has explicitly said that, but I can’t be the only one who sees it.)

Lalas talked to Fox News Digital about the situation, arguing that the WNBA itself needs to step in to head off what he sees as growing “resentment” of Caitlin Clark and her popularity:

“I think there is a real human element to the reaction that we are seeing, and maybe it manifests even more so in sports in that, you know, there’s the same pettiness and [jealousy] and resentment that we have in real life; that can certainly happen in sports. I think that you have to have a perspective and a maturity to look at this situation and recognize that while you may have been working you’re a– off before, and you might have the feeling that she is just coming in and hasn’t ‘paid her dues’ or anything like that … I don’t watch basketball, and I sure as hell don’t watch WNBA, and yet I am now finding myself tuning in. That is the power of the stardom that is Caitlin Clark.”

He makes two interesting points here. First, his point about resentment seems spot on. There’s rookie hazing, and then there’s blatant targeting. Like, for example, bodyslamming someone who isn’t even looking to the ground, while the ball is out of play.

That’s not basketball, and it’s not sports. On the street, it would be assault.

But his second point is even more important. Caitlin Clark is bringing eyeballs who normally never would have even watched the WNBA.

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Tony Behar-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Tony Behar-USA TODAY Sports

RELATED: Ratings Show Caitlin Clark Single-Handedly Driving Record WNBA Viewership: Report

Harnessing Caitlin Clark’s Star Power

If nothing else, the league should be working to promote Clark’s star power. Certainly private sports companies like Nike are doing that.

And as we’re finding out, Clark is almost single-handedly responsible for the WNBA’s record viewership. It’s plainly in their interest.

And where are the adults in the room? Why didn’t the coach of the Chicago Sky immediately punish Chennedy Carter for the out-of-bounds hit on Clark? Coach Weatherspoon had nothing to say about Angel Reese cheerily jumping off the bench to congratulate Carter for the cheap shot?

Have any coaches around the league had this talk with their players? That maybe it’s a bad idea to go out there and try to hurt and injure the league’s biggest star?

Where do they think things like salaries come from?

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