Indiana Rep Jim Banks Tells WNBA: Protect Caitlin Clark From Assaults

Rep. Jim Banks speaks to media with Republican Study Committee members. (Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.) on Tuesday wrote a letter to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert demanding answers as to how the league will protect Indiana Fever star rookie Caitlin Clark from violent attacks on the court.

In the letter, first obtained by Outkick, Banks referred to a viral incident in a Saturday game between the Fever and Chicago Sky, where Clark was aggressively fouled by Chennedy Carter, with Banks calling it an "excessive attack."

Video of the incident shows Carter shoving first overall draft pick Clark to the ground with her shoulder before the ball was thrown into play.

"Indiana is a basketball state. We don’t wince at aggressive defense, but this was not an example of playing ‘tough’; it was a cheap shot that could have resulted in an injury and should not be tolerated," Banks said.

He denounced the lack of further punishment for Carter beyond a retroactive flagrant foul, calling it a "disservice to the millions of young girls who are watching with dreams of playing in the WNBA one day."

Banks also called out Carter’s teammate, former LSU star Angel Reese, for "visibly cheer[ing] on and support[ing]" Carter’s unprovoked aggression.

Banks concluded the letter with a series of questions about how the league will protect players from such incidents.

"Will individual organizations be held responsible for allowing players with histories of violence to physically target their competitors? Do you believe that WNBA players repeatedly diminishing the talents of their fellow players is beneficial to the league's overall success?  Do you believe that it is inspiring to young female athletes to see players like the Indiana’s [sic] Caitlin Clark physically targeted for her success?"

Clark, who broke the NCAA record for career points and led the University of Iowa to two consecutive national title games, is averaging 15.6 points in 11 games this season.