In a recent broadcast of ABC’s “The View,” co-host Sunny Hostin sparked controversy by attributing the success of Indiana Fever star Caitlin Clark to what she referred to as “white privilege” and “pretty privilege.” Hostin’s comments are reminiscent of a troubling trend among detractors trying to diminish Clark’s achievements by unfairly bringing her race into the spotlight.

The topic arose as the hosts of “The View” discussed former ESPN personality Jemele Hill’s assertions about Clark’s popularity within the women’s basketball community. Hill suggested that Clark’s appeal is rooted in her straight white identity, going as far as labeling her impact as “problematic.” Hill pointedly commented, “We would all be very naive if we didn’t say race and her sexuality played a role in her popularity.”

She continued, emphasizing the systemic biases at play, “While so many people are happy for Caitlin’s success, there is a part of it that is a little problematic because of what it says about the worth and marketability of the players who are already there.” Hill highlighted the disparity in recognition and support for other talented players who didn’t receive the same level of marketing traction.

Hostin echoed some of Hill’s sentiments, acknowledging the existence of “pretty privilege” and “White privilege.” She stressed the importance of recognizing societal biases and the impact they have on athletes. In a poignant moment, Hostin emphasized the challenges faced by Black athletes like Brittney Griner, who had to seek opportunities abroad due to lack of support in the US.

However, not everyone on the panel shared Hostin’s perspective. Whoopi Goldberg brought a voice of reason, asserting that Caitlin Clark’s success is a result of her undeniable skill and talent on the court, not her race or appearance. Goldberg condemned the reduction of Clark’s accomplishments to superficial factors, emphasizing her remarkable athletic prowess.

It is essential to celebrate the achievements of athletes based on their merit and abilities without unfairly attributing their success to external factors. Caitlin Clark’s rise to stardom in women’s basketball should be a testament to her hard work and dedication to the sport, rather than overshadowed by divisive narratives around privilege and bias.

The discussion surrounding Clark’s journey serves as a reminder of the complexities and challenges faced by athletes in various sporting arenas. As we continue to navigate these nuanced conversations, it is crucial to uphold the integrity of sports and honor the accomplishments of athletes based on their talent and determination.