(CNN) LSU star Angel Reese defended the gesture aimed at the Iowa Hawkeyes Caitlin Clark near the end The Tigers’ first NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship win On Sunday, saying “I don’t take offense lightly.”
It could be Reese Visible Approaching Clark before moving her open hand in front of her face – popularized by WWE superstar John Cena to mean “You can’t see me” – before pointing to her ring finger in a gesture that some have interpreted as a nod to where she lives. Your newly acquired championship ring may sit.
Clark did the same gesture to another player earlier in the tournament.
This gesture sparked a lot of controversy, especially on social media. Some criticized Reese, while others defended her actions, highlighting the lack of public outrage in response to Clark’s gesture earlier in the tournament.
Sports journalist Jose de Jesus Ortiz called Reese’s actions “classless”, while former ESPN host Keith Olbermann called Reese an “idiot” for the gesture.
In the post-win press conference, Reese noted the difference in the reaction she received as a result of her gesture compared to the signal Clarke received.
“All year long, I’ve been criticized for who I am. I just don’t fit into the novel,” Reese said. “I don’t fit into the box you want me to be in. I do. I’m very ghetto. They’ve all told me that all year. But when other people do, and you all say nothing.”
“This is for girls who look like me. For those who want to talk about what they believe in. It’s unapologetic. And that’s what I did tonight. He was bigger than me tonight. And Twitter is going to go into a rage every time.”
“And I’m happy. I feel like I helped grow women’s basketball this year. (…) I look forward to celebrating and then next season.”
Reese scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the 102-85 win and won the Women’s March Madness Player of the Year.
On the postgame broadcast, Reese referenced the similar gesture Clark made to Louisville’s opponent in the Elite Eight.
In the same game, Clark told an opponent, “You’re 15 points behind. Shut up,” Bleacher reports.
“Caitlin Clarke is a hell of a player but I don’t take disrespect lightly,” Reese said. “It’s disrespectful [LSU’s] Alexis [Morris] (…) And I wanted to pick her pocket. But I had a moment at her end game. I was in my bag, I was in my moment.”
After the championship game, Clark herself said she didn’t notice anything at the time.
“I was just trying to get in the line to shake hands and be grateful that my team was in this situation,” Clark said in the post-game press conference. “All the credit in the world to LSU. They were phenomenal. They deserve it. They had a phenomenal season.”
(LSU coach) Kim Mulkey coached them very well. She’s one of the best basketball coaches of all time, and it shows. She said really nice things to me in the handshake line, so I’m very grateful to her for that too.
“But honestly I have no idea. I was just trying to spend the last few moments on the field with the five guys in particular that I’ve started 93 games with and enjoy every second of it.”
LSU principal Mulkey said she had “no idea” what happened.
Reese’s advocates on social media include ESPN’s Holly Rowe and former NBA star Etan Thomas.
ru books on Twitter.
Former Washington Wizards player, Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks player Thomas books: “Now wait!!!! It was nice when Caitlin Clark did that. You guys had no issues with that at all. So don’t all get mad and talk about class and sportsmanship when Angel Reese does the same thing, we’re not going for a double standard here “.
Negative social media reaction throughout the season helped fuel her stellar season, Reese said, after she finished averaging 23.0 points and 15.4 rebounds in her first season with LSU after moving from Maryland.
“Twitter can say whatever they want to say,” she said. “I love reading those comments. I have all the screenshots of what everyone has said about me all season. What are you going to say now?”
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