Advertisement

Monica McNutt leaves Stephen A. Smith speechless in Caitlin Clark debate with criticism of his WNBA coverage

Monica McNutt leaves Stephen A. Smith speechless in Caitlin Clark debate with criticism of his WNBA coverage originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Monday's opening segment of ESPN's "First Take" opened with a 40 minute discussion about the continuing fallout over a controversial flagrant foul committed by Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter on Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark.

Toward the end of the segment, Smith tried to claim that no one "talks about the WNBA and Women's sports more than 'First Take'" after panelist Monica McNutt insinuated he was making the hard fouls on Clark a bigger deal than it is.

"Stephen A., respectfully, with your platform, you could have been doing this three years ago if you wanted

A stunned Smith replied back with a chorus of back-to-back "wows."

Smith, McNutt and Shannon Sharpe then began talking loudly over one another before host Molly Qerim did her best to reel everyone back in for a much-needed commercial break.

McNutt's initial point was that rookie "welcome to the league" moments have always been a thing in the WNBA, and that the discourse around Carter's flagrant foul on Saturday had been overblown to a point where the league as a whole is being villainized for its treatment of Clark.

"The prevailing sentiment for folks that are just joining the WNBA and following women's sports is unfair to the women of this league who have laid the groundwork for Caitlin Clark to come in and now take it to the next level.

"Chennedy Carter's behavior is not indicative of the entire league. We are still talking about competition where you are allowed to get a little extra elbow in if you are competing and you do it within the parameters of the game. The game is physical, Caitlin is helping to grow the league, these women understand that. But she cannot be babied as a rookie."