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Pat McAfee used foul language while discussing Caitlin Clark

The host was complimenting Clark when he let an expletive fly on live TV
Pat McAfee
Pat McAfee (Image source: YouTube/The Pat McAfee Show)

ESPN’s uber-popular show host Pat McAfee has apologized after he used a derogatory term to discuss Caitlin Clark, the WNBA phenomenon who has become a lightning rod for controversy and toxic conversation on social media.

While pacing — unlike his normal routine of standing behind his desk to speak — McAfee was in the process of defending and complimenting Clark as the white juggernaut who’s revitalizing the WNBA. However, McAfee’s soliloquy went left when he blurted out the phrase, “white b—” while exalting her for her accomplishments.

“I would like the media people that continue to say, ‘This rookie class, this rookie class, this rookie class [is responsible for the WNBA growth] …” McAfee said on Monday, June 3, 2024. “Nah, just call it for what it is: there’s one white b— for the Indiana team who is a superstar.”

McAfee continued defending and supporting Clark, saying: “Is there a chance that people just enjoy watching her play basketball because of how electrifying she is, what she did, what she stood for, how she went about going what she went for? Maybe,” McAfee added. “But instead, we have to hear people say that we all like her ’cause she’s white and she’s only popular because the rest of the rookie class is doing what they’re doing.”

YouTube video

While it is clear McAfee was praising Clark for her record-breaking collegiate accomplishments at Iowa, the fact that he used that derogatory phrase to compliment Clark rankled his bosses at ESPN.

McAfee was later notified about his faux pas. After the show aired, McAfee apologized to Clark and the public for his choice of words.

“No matter the context, even if we’re talking about race being a reason for some of the stuff happening, I have way too much respect for her and women to put that into the universe,” McAfee said, according to TMZ. 

“My intentions when saying it were complimentary just like the entire segment but a lot of folks are saying that it certainly wasn’t at all. That’s 100 percent on me and for that I apologize.”

Pat McAfee’s blunder sparks backlash

McAfee’s words have ricocheted throughout cyberspace and incited yet another round of impassioned — and often adversarial and race-tinged — debate surrounding Caitlin Clark’s impact on the WNBA.

Pat McAfee used foul language while discussing Caitlin Clark

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