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A sports reporter who tried to flirt with Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark at a news conference was suspended and banned from covering Fever home games.

The incident happened at Clark’s introductory news conference in April.

The WNBA’s No. 1 overall draft pick was introduced to the Indianapolis sports media and fans at the news conference on April 17.

David K Purdy/Getty Images

Longtime Indy Star columnist Gregg Doyel mirrored Clark’s heart-shaped hand gesture.

“You like that?” Clark asked him.

“I like that you’re here. I like that you’re here,” Doyel told Clark.

“Yeah, I do that to my family after every game. Pretty cool,” said Clark.

“Well, start doing it to me, and we’ll get along just fine,” said Doyel.

He also referred to Clark as “that”.

The uproar on social media was swift.

Doyel later apologized to Clark, saying he had acted out of “ignorance.”

“In my haste to be clever, to be familiar and welcoming (or so I thought), I offended Caitlin and her family… I now realize what I said and how I said it was wrong, wrong, wrong. I mean it was just wrong. Caitlin Clark, I’m so sorry.”

Fever fans were not surprised by Doyel’s sexist behavior.

One fan wrote: “Unsurprising to anyone who’s familiar with Doyel.”

Another person wrote: “That man is so inappropriate and creepy. He should publicly apologize to everyone involved, and retire. There’s no coming back from that sexist cringe.”

The backlash continued on social media for 3 weeks.

On May 7, WISH News 8 reported that Doyel has been suspended for 2 weeks by Indianapolis Star owner Gannett.

He is also banned from covering Indiana Fever games.

The Fever’s regular season begins on May 14 vs. the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena.

In other news, the WNBA has finally implemented charter flights for all WNBA teams. Clark won’t have to sit in coach with the public on commercial airlines.

WNBA players had complained about flying commercial while NBA teams flew on chartered jets.

The WNBA previously said they couldn’t afford to charter planes. They also penalized millionaire team owners who chartered flights for their own players.