Team USA Respond to Outcry Over Caitlin Clark Snub

Clark

Team USA have defended the decision to leave this year’s WNBA number one pick Caitlin Clark out of the Olympic team, following public outcry.

Everyone from basketball casuals to Stephen A. Smith were up in arms about Clark getting snubbed from the team.

One of their main arguments being that Clark brings so much viewership to the women’s game.

US women’s national team committee chair Jen Rizzotti explained the reasoning behind Clark’s omission from the 12-player roster.

“We don’t live in a bubble,” she told The Athletic. “We’re not on a jury where we’re quarantined in a hotel without any access. All of us are seeing and hearing and getting texts and calls about this decision. And that was expected.

“Certainly the success that Caitlin had in college in addition to the way that she’s played in the beginning parts of the (WNBA) season was taken into consideration as we talked about this roster, but I think out of respect for the process, we tried to make sure we upheld our integrity when it came to selecting the roster. Marketability, popularity, TV viewership, jersey sales was not something that we were supposed to be measuring.”

Rizzotti also told the Associated Press that the experience factor came into play when selecting the team.

“And when you base your decision on criteria, there were other players that were harder to cut because they checked a lot more boxes,” Rizzotti said. “Then sometimes it comes down to position, style of play for Cheryl [Reeve] and then sometimes a vote.”

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The roster features nine players who have been at the Olympics before (including 3×3 competition), with only three debutants named – Alyssa Thomas, Kahleah Copper and Sabrina Ionescu.

The Team USA women’s basketball team has won gold at every Olympics since 1988, bar the 1992 Barcelona Olympics where they came away with Bronze.

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