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Jemele Hill downplays Caitlin Clark mania, calls out media coverage

Former ESP player Jemele Hill downplayed Caitlin Clark’s influence on the rise in popularity of women’s basketball, while criticizing the media for not giving black players similar coverage.

Although he acknowledged that Clark was “sparking a general sense of curiosity”. Hill told uproxx.com That Iowa State’s star guard is riding a wave of increased attention overall.

“Everything about this sport has been on the upswing for years now. It didn’t just start with Caitlin Clark, but they’re treating it the same way,” said Hill, now writing for The Atlantic. told the outlet. “This has already created a false narrative to the detriment of the public.

All eyes are on Caitlin Clark in the Final Four. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register/USA TODAY NETWORK

“If you look at WNBA ratings, women’s college basketball ratings, they’ve exploded over at least the last seven to 10 years. If you want a shorter period of time, I’d say even five to seven years. It proves that people really enjoy this sport. They don’t just enjoy the stars of the sport, they enjoy the sport itself. And I wonder if the media understands the difference. I’m not entirely sure.”

Additionally, Hill said the media does a “terrible job” of covering women’s sports, leading to coverage being “too biased in one direction” and that white players like Clark and college star Paige Bueckers He mentioned the coverage and compared it to the treatment of former South Carolina star players. And current ace forward Aja Wilson is in charge.

“(Wilson) is probably the best player in the world right now,” Hill said. “And I’m not going to act like she doesn’t get coverage, but the coverage that non-white women, especially black women, don’t get anywhere near that. It’s two-to-one.

“I mean, Aliyah Boston was the best player in college just a few years ago. And she didn’t get a tenth of the media coverage that Caitlin Clark got. Now, you’re like, ‘Oh, this is… Some might say, “It’s her game.” But I don’t think that was the case. She is a great presence on television, but I think what a missed opportunity for the national media to truly elevate who she is as a person.

“Caitlin Clark seems like a great personality, but it’s not like Caitlin Clark is walking around saying crazy things. They’re just covering up for her excellence and that’s enough. Black people. It feels like athletes deserve equal or even fair coverage, but it takes something special [beyond basketball]”

Jemele Hill attends the BET+ ‘Dear’ from Detroit’ Los Angeles Premiere held at Citizen News Hollywood on March 20, 2024 in Los Angeles. Getty Images for BET+

Hill praised Clark and said he believes her play will translate to the WNBA and help grow the league.

Clark’s final game, the Elite Eight’s win over reigning champion LSU on Monday night, set a women’s basketball viewership record, drawing 12.3 million viewers, the most ever for a women’s sporting event. Collected the stake.

Iowa State and Clark State will face the Buccaneers and UW in the Final Four on Friday, with the winner facing the winner of undefeated South Carolina and North Carolina State in Sunday’s national championship game.

Caitlin Clark signed the shoes following the Elite Eight. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register/USA TODAY NETWORK

“Caitlyn Clark to me was always Stephen Curry. It was always him,” Hill said. “And even if you think LeBron (James) is the greatest player of this generation, which would be accurate, Stephen Curry has had the biggest impact on basketball at every level.” Kaitlyn Clark I think she’s going to continue to do that because the reason she plays and even the way she plays is because of Stephen Curry.

“I can only imagine the number of little girls and young female athletes who are going to try to emulate everything she does. I think that’s great for the sport.”

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