Sports

Paige Spiranac comes to defense of Caitlin Clark: ‘Women can be absolutely vicious to other women’

Golf influencer Paige Spiranac came to the defense of Iowa sharpshooter Caitlin Clark on Sunday as the Hawkeyes fell to South Carolina in the national championship.

Clark faced criticism from WNBA legends Diana Taurasi and Sheryl Swoopes, former UConn star Breanna Stewart and Hall of Famer Lynette Woodard all within the span of a few months as she pursued the all-time scoring mark and a shot at the national title.

Paige Spiranac in July 2023

Paige Spiranac watches her shot during the Kaulig Companies Championship Pro-Am at Firestone Country Club, July 12, 2023, in Akron, Ohio. (Jeff Lange/USA Today Network)

Spiranac, who is also the target of criticism on social, wrote that the “hate” toward Clark was unsurprising.

“The hate towards Caitlin Clark from current and former players is disappointing but not surprising,” she wrote on X. “Women can be absolutely vicious to other women while also preaching empowering the next generation. I’ve seen it first hand but we must remember a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Clark has been unconcerned with the criticism lobbed toward her and it hasn’t stopped her performance on the floor.

SOUTH CAROLINA’S DAWN STALEY PRAISES CAITLIN CLARK FOR ‘LIFTING UP OUR SPORT,’ CALLS HER ‘ONE OF THE GOATS’

Caitlin Clark drives

Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark drives to the basket as South Carolina Gamecocks guard Bree Hall defends during the NCAA Tournament championship game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Sunday, April 7, 2024, in Cleveland. (Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register/USA Today Network)

She scored 30 points in the loss against the Gamecocks.

“It’s certainly been a special year,” Clark said. “To be honest, after last year I was kind of, like, ‘How do we top doing what we did last year?’ Somehow, some way, every single person in our locker room believed. To be honest, this year was probably more special than last year.”

The next step for Clark is the WNBA.

Caitlin Clark talks to reporters

Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark takes questions after the NCAA Tournament championship game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Sunday, April 7, 2024, in Cleveland. (Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register/USA Today Network)

She’s expected to be the No. 1 pick of the April 15 draft – a spot held by the Indiana Fever. The team already selected Aliyah Boston with the top pick last year out of South Carolina.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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