NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks out on Pat McAfee’s ‘white b****’ comment on Caitlin Clark

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has spoken out on ESPN’s Pat McAfee’s ‘white b***’ comment on Caitlin Clark as he refuses to ‘get into cliche cancel culture debate.’

Touching base with reporters ahead of Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics on Thursday night, the league’s chief, 62, commented on McAfee’s choice of words during a strange defense of the Indiana Fever star in the wake of her rough treatment by Chennedy Carter, on Monday.

‘Look I’d say Pat McAfee, that’s what you’re referring to, he apologized, and I accept that,’ Silver told a reporter. 

‘I think that the way media works these days with people who are on live for hours, they’re going to occasionally misstep and I think what’s important is the context, their intention and sort of what they’re willing to say after having done that.

‘I’ll leave it to ESPN to make the wrong personnel decisions about consequences and things like that. But I accept that in a free society where there is a lot of conversation, a lot of dialogue and I think for the WNBA, of course it’s going to be a two-edge sword.

McAfee was at The Soccer Tournament in North Carolina, playing alongside Sergio Aguero, this week

NBA Comm’r Adam Silver broke his silence on Pat McAfee’s slur on Caitlin Clark on ESPN on his eponymous shown on the network, Monday

McAfee bizarrely called Caitlin Clark a 'white b****' while defending the Fever star on TV

McAfee bizarrely called Caitlin Clark a ‘white b****’ while defending the Fever star on TV

‘… I don’t want to get into this sort of cliche cancel culture debate. But I worry about that this sort of notion, that somebody seems to be a person of good will, is saying things in the context that actually seem supportive of the player but says a word like that, that shouldn’t have been said. And [Pat’s] the first to acknowledge he shouldn’t.  

‘I don’t want to overblow it. I think we can move on from it.’

McAfee was heavily criticized on social media for the comment about Clark – who’s dominated headlines ever since Carter bodychecked her during the Fever’s win over the Chicago Sky, led by her college rival Angel Reese, on Saturday.  

The ESPN’er noted how other rookies – like Angel Reese and Cameron Brink – have boosted the profile of the WNBA but the league’s boom in popularity is solely down to Clark.

He brought up a number of statistics comparing the three rookies to illustrate that point but, while doing so, called Clark a ‘white b****’, which seemed completely unnecessary.

The TV host posted a groveling apology to Clark, saying he has 'way too much respect for her'

The TV host posted a groveling apology to Clark, saying he has ‘way too much respect for her’

After being hit by complaints on social media on Monday, McAfee took to X later on to apologize. He posted: ‘I shouldn’t have used “white b****” as a descriptor of Caitlin Clark. 

‘No matter the context.. even if we’re talking about race being a reason for some of the stuff happening.. I have way too much respect for her and women to put that into the universe. 

‘My intentions when saying it were complimentary just like the entire segment but, a lot of folks are saying that it certainly wasn’t at all. That’s 100% on me and for that I apologize… I have sent an apology to Caitlin as well. Everything else I said… still alllllll facts.’

This week, McAfee was seen with former NFL defensive end J.J Watt at The Soccer Tournament in North Carolina, playing alongside Sergio Aguero, Marco Materazzi and Guiseppe Rossi.