Angel Reese Defends Gesture Directed towards Caitlin Clark after LSU National Title Win

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Angel Reese Defends Gesture Directed towards Caitlin Clark after LSU National Title Win and Calls Out Double Standards after Being ‘Unapologetically’

Angel Reese, the star of Louisiana State University (LSU) women's basketball team, is at the center of controversy following her gesture towards Caitlin Clark of Iowa Hawkeyes during the Tigers’ first NCAA women’s basketball national championship victory on Sunday. Reese defended the gesture, which some interpreted as a reference to the place her newly-acquired championship ring might sit, saying, “I don’t take disrespect lightly.” She pointed out that Clark had made a similar gesture to another player earlier in the tournament, which had gone unnoticed.

The gesture has sparked much debate, especially on social media, with some criticizing Reese while others have defended her actions, highlighting the lack of public outrage in response to Clark’s gesture earlier in the tournament. In the press conference after the victory, Reese referenced the difference in reaction she received as a result of her gesture as compared to the one Clark received.

Reese had 15 points and 10 rebounds in the 102-85 victory and won the women’s March Madness’ Most Outstanding Player award. In the post-game broadcast, Reese referenced the similar gesture Clark made to a Louisville opponent in the Elite Eight. In the same game, Clark said to 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 [LSU’s] Alexis [Morris] (…), and I wanted to pick her pocket. But I had a moment at the end of her game. I was in my bag; I was in my moment.”

Reese said the negative reaction on social media throughout the season has helped fuel her excellent season, having finished averaging 23.0 points and 15.4 rebounds in her first season with LSU after transferring from Maryland. “Twitter can say what they want to say,” she said. “I love reading those comments. I have all the screenshots of what everybody has said about me all season. What are you going to say now?”

The gesture by Reese and the reaction it has generated highlight the importance of double standards and the need to address them. The controversy surrounding the gesture has brought attention to the issue, which is often overlooked. In her post-game press conference, Reese called out the double standard, saying, “All year, I was critiqued for who I was. I don’t fit the narrative. I don’t fit the box that y’all want me to be in. I’m too hood. I’m too ghetto. Y’all told me that all year. But when other people do it, and y’all don’t say nothing."

Reese’s comments shed light on the double standard faced by women athletes of color, who are often judged and criticized for expressing themselves on the court. Women athletes are expected to be “ladylike” and “gracious,” while male athletes are often celebrated for being aggressive and competitive. Women of color face additional scrutiny and judgment for not fitting into the mold of what society deems acceptable behavior for a woman. Reese’s gesture and her comments have brought attention to this issue, and it is an opportunity for society to reflect on the double standards and work towards creating a more inclusive environment for women athletes.

While controversial, Reese’s gesture towards Clark can also be seen as a form of self-expression and empowerment. Reese said, “It was bigger than me tonight. And Twitter is going to go into a rage every time. And I’m happy. I feel like I’ve helped grow women’s basketball this year."

Reese's reaction to the negative comments and criticisms she received on social media throughout the season is commendable. She used the negativity as fuel to motivate her and had an excellent season, averaging 23.0 points and 15.4 rebounds. Reese's performance in the national championship game was exceptional, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. She was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Women's March Madness.

Reese's gesture towards Clark has sparked a debate on social media, with some people criticizing her actions and others defending her. ESPN's Holly Rowe and former NBA star Etan Thomas have defended Reese, saying that unapologetically confident young women should be celebrated and not hated. They also called out the double standards in how Clark's similar gesture was not criticized, but Reese's was.

In the press conference after the victory, Reese called out the double standard in how she was criticized for her gesture while Clark's similar action was not condemned. Reese said that she had been critiqued all year for who she was and did not fit the box people wanted her to be in. She also said that she was too good and too ghetto and that people had told her that all year. Reese's gesture was for the girls who look like her and those who want to speak up for their beliefs. Reese encouraged others to be unapologetically themselves.

In conclusion, Angel Reese's gesture towards Caitlin Clark has sparked a debate on social media. While some people have criticized her actions, others have defended her, calling out the double standards in how Clark's similar gesture was not condemned. Reese defended her actions, saying that she did not take disrespect lightly and was in her bag at the time. Reese's excellent season and performance in the national championship game were fueled by the negative comments and criticisms she received on social media. Reese's message after the game was that people should be unapologetically themselves and that they should speak up for what they believe in.
 
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