Sky and Angel Reese fined for breaking media policies, Chennedy Carter foul on Caitlin Clark upgraded

Sunday morning, the WNBA dropped the hammer on the Sky.

First, came the news the league had upgraded Chennedy Carter’s away-from-the-play personal foul on Caitlin Clark in the third quarter to a Flagrant 1 after review. About an hour later, the league announced a $1,000 fine on Angel Reese for failing to make herself available to the media after the Sky’s 71-70 loss to the Fever.

In addition, the Sky were fined $5,000 by the league for failing to ensure that all players comply with WNBA media policies.

WNBA media protocol requires teams to make two key players and each head coach available postgame following no more than a 10-minute cooling down period. These interviews take place in a press conference-style setting, however, any player not participating may be requested for interviews by in-person media.

Saturday afternoon, Carter, rookie Kamilla Cardoso and Sky coach Teresa Weatherspoon were made available postgame. However, after multiple media members requested to speak with Reese, she was not made available.

The Sky has a history of not obliging to the league’s media policy.

Following the Sky’s 86-82 loss to the Sun on May 25, the team did not make players or Weatherspoon available for 30 minutes after the game’s conclusion. Delaying post-game interviews has been a common practice for the Sky over the years.

Failing to make players available is another pattern of behavior that dates back to the Sky’s 2019 playoffs. Despite being requested by media members, former Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot was not made available postgame following the team’s 93-92 loss to the Aces.

Following a mass exodus of players in 2023 free agency, the media were told Sky ownership would be available to answer questions at media day. They never showed up.

“It honestly has become the Sky’s reputation,” said Terrence Tomlin, co-founder of The Bigs.

Carter’s foul is a separate issue with its own serious implications.

Players accrue points for flagrant fouls that can lead to fines and suspensions. Carter’s Flagrant 1 foul earned her one point on the league’s flagrant foul limit. A player with three points faces the risk of a one-game suspension.

A player with four or more points faces a one- to two-game suspension.

When asked about the foul postgame, Carter responded by saying, “Next question.”

Comparisons have been made between Carter’s foul on Clark and Alyssa Thomas’s Flagrant 2 foul on Reese during the Sky’s home opener. However, there are two stark differences between the two fouls.

Thomas committed the foul during a basketball play. Officials immediately reviewed the play, and she was assessed a Flagrant 2 and ejected. Carter’s foul on Clark came as both players stood waiting for the ball to be inbounded, and officials did not review it in the moment.

Had officials reviewed Carter’s foul in the moment and upgraded it to a Flagrant 1 in the moment, Clark would have shot two free throws instead of one.

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