Here's an excerpt from my latest column:

Caitlin Clark didn't figure to be welcomed to the WNBA with open arms, and she hasn't been.

The gatekeeping boiled over Saturday when Chicago's Chennedy Carter rocked Clark with a hard shoulder away from the ball. It was basically a bodycheck like the Penguins don't throw.

Carter was initially charged with a standard foul, but the WNBA upgraded it to a flagrant foul the next day.

Protecting the golden girl off the court helps a little. But the Fever failed to do it on the court. Nobody responded, or even rushed to Clark's side.

That's no surprise. That's what happens with bad teams. They don't rally around each other. That's not even taking into account potential in-house resentment toward Clark. Unless the Fever sign Bill Laimbeer, Clark will keep getting roughed up.

Carter's foul was bad, but hardly extreme. Similar fouls are frequently perpetrated in basketball. But they're not shown on SportsCenter over and over, because they don't happen to Clark. Going viral fuels discontent toward Clark.

Clark absorbing hard fouls as a celebrated rookie is hardly unique. The Detroit Pistons absolutely hammered Michael Jordan's during Jordan's salad days.

To read the entire piece, click HERE.

Carter tried to bully Clark with a hard foul. It's just basketball.

But because it's Clark, who's straight and white, we feel compelled to debate race, sexuality and sociology.

We can't take it at face value. We get badly bogged down in the ancillary, when maybe it's no more than a hard foul.

But the Chicago Tribune thinks it was more than a hard foul.

The Tribune criticized the incident on their editorial page, not the sports page, lamenting the "undeserved target on Clark's back" and calling Carter's foul "assault." Carter plays for Chicago, don't forget.

Melodrama much? Women's basketball on the editorial page? Yikes.

The easiest thing to do with the Caitlin Clark excrement show might be to ignore it.

Let's talk Steelers. Let's talk left tackle. Carter could teach Dan Moore Jr. a thing or two about blocking.

Chicago Sky v Indiana Fever

Photo: Andy Lyons / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

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