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IndyStar sports columnist Gregg Doyel will no longer cover the WNBA’s Indiana Fever following a cringeworthy exchange he had with player Caitlin Clark during a news conference. Doyel made a heart gesture with his hands towards Clark, who had used the same gesture during her college basketball career. Doyel’s comments during the exchange were criticized, prompting him to apologize later in the day for his awkward and clumsy remarks. The parent company of IndyStar, Gannett, did not respond to inquiries about Doyel’s future coverage of the team.

Doyel’s last article was published in April, focusing on the NFL draft. It is unclear if he will cover the Indiana Fever at all during the upcoming season. Clark and the Fever are set to commence their 25th regular season next Tuesday with a game against the Connecticut Sun. CNN has reached out to Doyel for comment on the situation, but his involvement with the team moving forward remains uncertain.

The incident involving Doyel and Caitlin Clark sheds light on the importance of respectful behavior and interactions in sports journalism, particularly when covering women’s sports. Doyel’s comments and gestures towards Clark were interpreted as inappropriate and led to backlash from the public. This serves as a reminder for journalists to be mindful of their words and actions when interacting with athletes, especially in a professional setting.

The controversy surrounding Doyel’s conduct with the Indiana Fever highlights the ongoing need for accountability in sports media. Journalists are expected to uphold professional standards and treat all athletes with respect, regardless of gender. Doyel’s apology for his remarks towards Caitlin Clark is a step in acknowledging his mistake, but it also raises questions about his future coverage of women’s sports and the level of sensitivity and awareness he brings to his reporting.

Moving forward, it is essential for both journalists and media outlets to prioritize ethics and respect in their coverage of sports, including women’s sports. The incident involving Gregg Doyel and Caitlin Clark serves as a learning opportunity for the industry to reflect on the impact of words and actions on athletes and the public. By holding themselves accountable and maintaining professionalism, journalists can contribute to a more inclusive and positive environment in sports media, fostering better relationships with athletes and teams.

In conclusion, the decision to remove Gregg Doyel from covering the Indiana Fever reflects the consequences of inappropriate behavior in sports journalism. Doyel’s exchange with Caitlin Clark was deemed unacceptable, prompting him to issue an apology for his actions. The incident underscores the importance of respectful conduct and accountability in media coverage, especially when reporting on women’s sports. Moving forward, journalists and media organizations must prioritize professionalism and ethical behavior to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for athletes and fans alike.

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