LSU star Angel Reese defended the gesture she aimed toward Iowa Hawkeyes’ Caitlin Clark close to the top of the Tigers’ first NCAA girls’s basketball nationwide championship victory on Sunday, saying “I don’t take disrespect frivolously.”
Reese could possibly be seen approaching Clark earlier than transferring her open hand in entrance of her face – popularized by WWE star John Cena to imply “you may’t see me” – earlier than pointing to her ring finger in a gesture some interpreted as a reference to the place her newly-acquired championship ring may sit.
Clark made the same gesture to a different participant earlier within the event.
The gesture has sparked a lot debate, particularly on social media. Some have criticized Reese, whereas others have defended her actions, highlighting how there was no public outrage in response to Clark’s gesture earlier within the event.
Sports activities journalist Jose de Jesus Ortiz known as Reese’s actions “classless,” whereas former ESPN host Keith Olbermann known as Reese an “fool” for the gesture.
Within the press convention after the victory, Reese referenced the distinction in response she acquired on account of her gesture as in comparison with the one Clark acquired.
“All 12 months, I used to be critiqued for who I used to be. I don’t match the narrative,” Reese mentioned. “I don’t match the field that y’all need me to be in. I’m too hood. I’m too ghetto. Y’all instructed me that each one 12 months. However when different individuals do it, and y’all don’t say nothing.
“So that is for the ladies that appear to be me. For people who need to communicate up for what they imagine in. It’s unapologetically you. And that’s what I did it for tonight. It was greater than me tonight. And Twitter goes to enter a rage each time.
“And I’m completely happy. I really feel like I’ve helped develop girls’s basketball this 12 months. (…) I’m trying ahead to celebrating after which subsequent season.”
Reese had 15 factors and 10 rebounds within the 102-85 victory and gained the ladies’s March Insanity’ Most Excellent Participant award.
Within the post-game broadcast, Reese referenced the same gesture Clark made to a Louisville opponent within the Elite Eight.
In the identical recreation, Clark mentioned to an opponent: “You’re down by 15 factors. Shut up,” in line with the Bleacher Report.
“Caitlin Clark is a hell of a participant however I don’t take disrespect frivolously,” Reese mentioned. “She disrespected [LSU’s] Alexis [Morris] (…) and I needed to choose her pocket. However I had a second on the finish of her recreation. I used to be in my bag, I used to be in my second.”
After the Championship recreation, Clark herself mentioned she didn’t discover something on the time.
“I used to be simply attempting to get to the handshake line and shake fingers and be grateful that my group was in that place,” Clark mentioned within the post-game press convention. “All of the credit score on this planet to LSU. They have been super. They deserve it. They’d an incredible season.
“(LSU head coach) Kim Mulkey coached them so, so properly. She’s among the finest basketball coaches of all time, and it reveals. She solely mentioned actually type issues to me within the handshake line, so I’m very grateful of that too.
“However truthfully I do not know. I used to be simply attempting to spend the previous couple of moments on the courtroom with particularly the 5 folks that I’ve began 93 video games with and relishing each second of that.”
LSU head coach Mulkey mentioned she had “no clue” about what transpired.
In photos: LSU wins nationwide title in girls’s basketball
Amongst these defending Reese on social media have been ESPN’s Holly Rowe and former NBA star Etan Thomas.
“Folks hating on Angel Reese or Caitlin Clark. Cease. Unapologetically assured younger girls must be celebrated NOT hated. Get used to it,” Rowe wrote on Twitter.
Former Washington Wizards, Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder and Atlanta Hawks participant Thomas wrote: “Maintain on now!!!! It was cute when Caitlin Clark did it. Y’all didn’t have any points with it in any respect. So don’t be all outraged and speaking about class and sportsmanship when Angel Reese does the identical factor. We’re not doing double requirements right here.”
Reese mentioned the unfavourable response on social media all through the season has helped gasoline her glorious season, having completed averaging 23.0 factors and 15.4 rebounds in her first season with LSU after transferring from Maryland.
“Twitter can say what they need to say,” she mentioned. “I like studying these feedback. I’ve all of the screenshots of what all people has mentioned about me all season. What are you going to say now?”