Angel Reese defends gesture directed at Caitlin Clark after LSU national title win; denounces double standards after being “shameless” with her


LSU star Angel Reese defended the gesture she made to the Iowa Hawkeyes’ Caitlin Clark on Sunday near the end of the Tigers’ first NCAA women’s basketball national championship victory, saying : “I don’t take disrespect lightly.”

Reese could be seen approaching Clark before moving his open hand in front of his face – popularized by WWE star John Cena to mean “you can’t see me” – before pointing his ring finger in a gesture that some interpreted as a reference to the place where she just found herself. the acquired championship ring could stay.

Clark did the same thing gesture to another player earlier in the tournament.

This gesture sparked numerous debates, particularly on social networks. Some criticized Reese, while others defended his actions, pointing out that there was no public outrage in response to Clark’s gesture earlier in the tournament.

Sports reporter Jose de Jesus Ortiz called Reese’s actions “classless,” while former ESPN host Keith Olbermann called Reese an “idiot” for the move.

During the press conference after the victory, Reese referenced the difference in reaction she received following her gesture compared to that received by Clark.

“All year I was criticized for who I was. I don’t fit the narrative,” Reese said. “I don’t fit into the box you want me to be in. I’m too hooded. I’m too ghetto. You’ve been telling me that all year. But when others do it, and you don’t say anything.

“So this is for girls who look like me. For those who want to talk about what they believe in. This is unapologetically you. And that’s why I did it tonight. It was bigger than me tonight. And Twitter will get angry every time.

” And I am happy. I feel like I contributed to the development of women’s basketball this year. (…) I can’t wait to celebrate and then next season.

Reese had 15 points and 10 rebounds in the 102-85 victory and won the March Madness women’s MVP award.

In the postgame show, Reese referenced the similar gesture Clark made toward a Louisville opponent in the Elite Eight.

In the same game, Clark told an opponent, “You’re down by 15 points. Shut up,” according to the Bleacher Report.

“Caitlin Clark is a hell of a player but I don’t take disrespect lightly,” Reese said. “She disrespected Alexis (Morris) (of LSU) (…) and I wanted to pick her pockets. But I had a moment at the end of his game. I was in my bag, I was in my moment.

After the championship match, Clark herself said she didn’t notice anything at the time.

“I was just trying to get to the handshake line, shake hands and be grateful that my team is in this position,” Clark said in the postgame press conference. “All the credit in the world goes to LSU. They were great. They deserve it. They had a fantastic season.

“(LSU head coach) Kim Mulkey coached them so well. She is one of the best basketball coaches of all time, and it shows. She only said very nice things to me during the handshake, so I am also very grateful for that.

“But honestly, I have no idea. I was just trying to spend the last few moments on the field with especially the five people I started 93 games with and savor every second.

LSU head coach Mulkey said she had “no idea” what happened.

Among those defending Reese on social media were ESPN’s Holly Rowe and former NBA star Etan Thomas.

“People hate Angel Reese or Caitlin Clark. Stop. Unapologetically confident young women should be celebrated, NOT hated. Get used to it,” Rowe wrote on Twitter.

Thomas, former Washington Wizards, Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks player wrote: “Wait now!!!! It was cute when Caitlin Clark did it. You had no problem with that. So don’t be outraged and talk about class and sportsmanship when Angel Reese does the same thing. We are not applying double standards here.

Reese said the negative reactions on social media throughout the season helped fuel his strong season, finishing with an average of 23.0 points and 15.4 rebounds in his first season with LSU after transferring of Maryland.

“Twitter can say whatever it wants,” she said. “I love reading these comments. I have every screenshot of what everyone said about me all season. What are you going to say now?


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