Amid a rise in both positive and negative discourse surrounding the WNBA, Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark addressed recent comments regarding her name being used for racism and misogyny prior to her team's 91-84 win over the Atlanta Dream on Thursday.

"It's disappointing. I think everyone in our world deserves the same amount of respect," Clark said. "The women around our league deserve the same amount of respect. People should not be using my name to push those agendas. It's disappointing, it's not acceptable." 

She added that respecting her and fellow players is "a basic human thing that everybody should do."

"Some of the women in this league were my biggest idols and role models growing up, helping me want to achieve this moment right here that I get to play in every single night," Clark said. "Just be a kind person and treat them how you would want to be treated. I think that's very simple."

Clark's pre-game comments came in the wake of social media backlash from Connecticut Sun guard DiJonai Carrington, who criticized Clark for saying she wanted to focus on basketball during shootaround earlier on Thursday. 

Clark had said that what people say online was "not something I can control." 

"I don't put too much thought and time into thinking about things like that, and to be honest, I don't see a lot of it," Clark added. "Basketball is my job. Everything on the outside, I can't control that, so I'm not going to spend time thinking about that."

The top overall pick in this season's WNBA Draft, Clark has been in the headlines long before she debuted for Indiana. Her recent play and the news that she was left off of the Team USA Olympic roster have only added to the growing conversations about her and the league, be it from her fans or her critics.

Meanwhile, this weekend, Clark's Fever will face the Chicago Sky and fellow rookies Angel Reese and Kamilla Cordoso, the players who topped Clark's Iowa squad in the last two NCAA national championships. The game, which will be played in Indiana, Sunday, June 16, at noon ET, will be televised by CBS.