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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke July 3, 2024

Referees officiating WNBA rookie Caitlin Clark’s games are not under league investigation

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  • There’s no evidence to support this claim. 

WNBA rookie Caitlin Clark, a guard for the Indiana Fever, has criticized what she’s described as unfair officiating, but we found no evidence to support claims that the league is investigating referees involved in her games.

"BREAKING: The WNBA organizers have officially announced an investigation into the referees in all of Caitlin Clark's games for ignoring all dirty actions by her opponents against her," a June 28 Facebook post said. "’Some referees have been suspended.’"

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

We asked the WNBA about the post but didn’t hear back. 

 Facebook accounts, including one called "Crossover Queens," a supposed "News & media website" created in March 28 with [email protected] listed as its contact email. The Facebook page’s manager is based in the Philippines, the account says, though an Ohio address is given in its contact information.

We found no credible sources reporting on such an announcement from the WNBA. Clark is mentioned in plenty of recent WNBA press releases, but not because the referees who officiated Fever games are being investigated, much less because some referees have been suspended. The press releases center on high viewership for Fever games.

Clark has also attracted wide media attention, for her product endorsement deals, her league-leading WNBA All-Star Game vote count, her omission from the USA’s 2024 Summer Olympic team and her scuffles with referees. 

"WNBA fans argue referees missed blatant foul against Caitlin Clark as surging Fever extend winning streak," a June 20 Fox News headline said. 

"Caitlin Clark rips referees: ‘I feel like I’m getting hammered,’" a May 31 New York Post headline said.

In the Indianapolis Star on June 19: "Officiating Caitlin Clark? Refs weigh in on heated dynamic: 'We're pros. Not perfect.’"

But nothing about the WNBA announcing an investigation into Clark referees.

"The way Clark is being officiated, the calls and non-calls, the three technical fouls she’s accumulated, the flagrant hits, the grabs and the flopping from both sides has been scrutinized in a way no other player in the WNBA has been subject to before," the Indianapolis Star story said. 

Nevertheless, the story said, "the rough shoves and swipes and sometimes scratches and smacks are nothing new, and nothing any rougher than (any) other newcomer to professional sports has endured."

We rate claims the WNBA announced an investigation into, and suspended some, referees that have officiated Clark’s games False.


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Referees officiating WNBA rookie Caitlin Clark’s games are not under league investigation

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