(SpaceXMania & The Patriots Lovers/Facebook)

Image courtesy of SpaceXMania & The Patriots Lovers/Facebook


WNBA player Angel Reese was kicked off the U.S. women’s basketball team and fined $1 million for comments she made about Caitlin Clark.

On June 18, 2024, the Facebook account The Patriots Lovers claimed that WNBA star Angel Reese was kicked off the U.S. team and faced a $1 million fine for comments she made about fellow WNBA player Caitlin Clark:

(The Patriots Lovers/Facebook)

This claim was not true. The Facebook page that posted the allegation describes itself as a “Satire/Parody” account that specializes “in SATIRE, Humor and Extra Crispy Tates.”

The Facebook post originated from a story published the same day, June 18, 2024, on SpaceXMania, a website that explicitly describes most of its output as “satirical in nature” and “not meant to be taken seriously,” including this claim about Reese. According to the story from SpaceXMania, the 22-year-old athlete was “expelled from the U.S. women’s basketball team and fined $1 million” due to her “public criticism of her teammate Caitlin Clark”:

In a post-game interview, Reese expressed frustration with what she perceived as preferential treatment toward Clark. “It feels like Caitlin gets all the attention and praise, while the rest of us work just as hard,” Reese remarked. “I’m tired of being overlooked. We all contribute to the team’s success.”

The U.S. women’s basketball team management, emphasizing the need for cohesion and mutual respect, decided to take decisive action.

In an official statement, the team management explained their decision. “Our goal is to foster a positive and unified environment within the team. Publicly criticizing teammates undermines this goal and disrupts the harmony we strive to maintain. As a result, Angel Reese has been removed from the team and fined $1 million for her actions.”

On June 11, 2024, USA Basketball revealed its 12-player roster for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, which commences in July 2024. Neither Reese nor Clark, 22, was included in the lineup, despite their impressive rookie seasons in the WNBA.

During a mid-June WNBA game between their teams, Reese committed a flagrant foul against Clark, who took an arm to the head while attempting to make a shot. In a post-game interview, Reese dismissed the incident as a “basketball play,” adding that she “can’t control the refs, they affected the game obviously a lot tonight.”

In early June 2024, the WNBA announced it would fine Reese $1,000 after her team’s loss to the Indiana Fever the previous day, for disregarding the league’s rules regarding media conduct. According to a WNBA news release, Reese failed “to make herself available to the media for interviews,” per CBS Sports.

Reese and Clark are common targets of satire pages like SpaceXMania, whose content is sometimes confused with real news.

Because the claim that Reese was expelled from the U.S. women’s basketball team and fined $1 million for comments she made about Clark stems from a website whose output is explicitly described as satirical in nature, this claim is rated “Labeled Satire.”