Friday night proved a difficult one for the South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team.
The Gamecocks came into the Final Four with a 36-0 record and looking to win back-to-back national championships under head coach Dawn Staley.
But they ran into a buzz saw in the form of Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes in Dallas. Clark torched the nets for 41 points to go along with eight assists and six rebounds in a 77-73 upset victory.
Dawn Staley Calls Out Alleged Racist Remarks
After the contest, Staley came under fire for her inability to find a way to slow Clark down. But the often outspoken coach didn’t want to discus the game. Instead, she talked about an alleged incident before the game involving media members who made racist remarks about her players.
Staley stated that she was told national media members at an event Thursday made comments derogatory comments about her players. She said she intended to address the comments whether or not the Gamecocks won on Friday.
“Some of the people in the media, when you’re gathering in public, you’re saying things about our team, and you’re being heard, and it’s being brought back to me,” Staley said. “And these are the people that write nationally for our sport. So you can not like our team and you can not like me. But when you say things that you probably should be saying in your home on the phone or texting out in public and you’re being heard, and you are a national writer for our sport – it just confirms what we already know. So watch what you say when you’re in public and you’re talking about my team in particular,” Staley said according to the. The Greenville News
Staley stated that the comments took aim at the Gamecocks’ physical play style.
“We’re not bar fighters. We’re not thugs. We’re not monkeys. We’re not street fighters,” Staley said. “I do think that that’s sometimes brought into the game, and it hurts.”
The comments aren’t new. Legendary UConn head coach Geno Auriemma made similar remarks earlier in the season. But they’re disappointing nonetheless, and it’s easy to see why Staley would be angry.