Gregg Doyel makes ‘heart hands’ gesture at Clark during introductory press conference

Indiana Fever's Caitlin Clark speaks during a WNBA basketball news conference, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, in Indianapolis.

Indiana Fever’s Caitlin Clark speaks during a WNBA basketball news conference, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Darron Cummings, The Associated Press 2024)

INDIANAPOLIS – There was only one thing being talked about on the internet Wednesday night: an extremely uncomfortable exchange between Caitlin Clark and a reporter.

Clark, a superstar at Iowa and one of the most popular athletes in the world, was selected No. 1 overall in the WNBA draft earlier this week, and she had her introductory press conference with the Indiana Fever on Wednesday in Indianapolis.

That press conference included a very strange interaction with Gregg Doyel, of the Indianapolis Star.

Doyel apparently began by making the “heart hands” gesture at Clark. That’s odd enough to begin with, but Clark brushed it off, acknowledging that she likes to make that gesture to her family after games.

“You like that?” Clark asked.

“I like that you’re here,” Doyel said.

“I do that at my family after every game, so, it’s pretty cool,” Clark said.

Clearly, she handled this very awkward and inappropriate situation well, but Doyel couldn’t stop himself from making it so much worse.

“OK, well, start doing it to me and we’ll get along just fine,” Doyel said.

Social media blew up with criticism of Doyel and his comments. He ignored the response initially, but then tweeted a half-apology, half-justification at 7:11 p.m, complete with a tone-deaf pun about hearts:

“Today, in my uniquely oafish way, while welcoming Caitlin Clark to Indy, I formed my hands into her signature 🫶. My comment afterward was clumsy and awkward. I sincerely apologize. Please know my heart (literally and figuratively) was well-intentioned. I will do better.”

He also published a column apologizing to Clark and calling himself “part of the problem.”

You can hear the exchange in the viral tweet below.