Diana Taurasi Calls WNBA Fans ‘Sensitive,’ Doubles Down on Critique of Caitlin Clark

The Phoenix Mercury star addressed the outrage over her recent comments on Caitlin Clark.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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The hype over “The GOAT” vs. “The Rook” game — this summer’s marquee matchup between Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi and Indiana Fever’s Caitlin Clark — only continues to grow as the start of the WNBA season nears.

Taurasi, a former No. 1 pick by Phoenix in 2004, drew the ire of Clark’s supporters earlier this month for her blunt comments regarding the ex-Hawkeyes star’s imminent transition to the WNBA. 

The Mercury veteran doubled down on those comments during Sunday’s preseason availability and called the new fans of the WNBA “sensitive.” 

“The new fans are really sensitive these days and you can’t say anything,” said Taurasi. “It’s kind of like when you go from kindergarten to first grade there’s a learning adjustment, when you go from high school to college there’s a learning adjustment. I don’t think I said anything that wasn’t factually correct.”

Taurasi added, “Greatness is going to translate and she’s proven that in every level. I don’t see that being any different in the WNBA.”  

Clark, the NCAA’s all-time top scorer and one of several highly touted rookies entering the league this year, will play Taurasi’s Mercury on June 30. The WNBA season officially begins on May 14.

During ESPN’s alternate broadcast of the women’s Final Four tilt between Iowa and UConn, Taurasi initially set off Clark’s fans with a seemingly disparaging comment on Clark’s future WNBA career.

“Reality is coming,” Taurasi said on April 6. “You see it on the NBA side, and you’re going to see it on this side. You look superhuman playing against 18-year-olds, but you’re going to come play with some grown women that have been playing professional basketball for a long time.” 

Kristen Wong


Kristen Wong is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. She has been a sports journalist since 2020. Before joining SI, Kristen covered four NFL teams as an associate editor with the FanSided NFL Network and worked as a staff writer for the brand’s flagship site. She has written about soccer, the NFL, NBA, and MLB since 2020, and outside of work, has dreams of running her own sporty dive bar.