Basketball player Angel Reese’s competitive nature has led her team, the Louisiana State University Tigers, to their first national championship in the program’s history. But it has also caused a lot of chaos on social media.
Yesterday (April 2), as LSU cruised to a victory against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, Reese made a “You can’t see me” gesture toward Iowa player Caitlin Clark.
The hand movement was known to be used by former wrestler John Cena on WWE, but Reese’s use resulted in many Twitter individuals calling her “classless,” amongst other names.
Angel Reese: "Clark is a hell of a player but I don’t take disrespect lightly. She disrespected Alexis & my SEC girls. I wanted to pick her pocket but I had a moment at the end of the game & I was just in my bag."
15 PTS | 10 REB | 5 AST | 3 STL | 🏆 pic.twitter.com/7yDCgplEXs
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 3, 2023
Reese was quick to come to her own defense after the game. When she spoke with the media, Reese questioned why it was a problem when she made the hand movement, but not when others did so. One of the people she seemingly referred to was Clark, who’s Caucasian, and who also made the “Cena gesture” during the tournament.
Like Reese, many prominent members in the world of sports were just as puzzled as they defended her competitiveness and questioned if race played a part in people’s reactions. On Twitter, Ryan Clark tweeted, “If you praised Caitlin Clark as competitive, fiery, and passionate for doing the ‘You can’t see me’ celebration and are criticizing Angel Reese for the same, we already know!!”
If you praised Caitlin Clark as competitive, fiery, and passionate for doing the “You can’t See me” celebration and are criticizing Angel Reese for the same we already know!!
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) April 2, 2023
During today’s (April 3) segment of “Undisputed,” Shannon Sharpe said, “It’s very clear: This is not about anything else but race.”
"When Caitlin Clark did it, it was swag, but when Angel Reese does it, it’s classless. It's very clear: this is not about anything else but race.”
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) April 3, 2023
Meanwhile, former LSU player Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal kept it short and straightforward as he responded to comments made about Reese by podcaster Keith Olbermann, telling him to “Shut your dumb a** up [and] leave Angel Reese alone.”
shut your dumb ass up leave angel reese alone.
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) April 3, 2023
And even WFAA sports anchor Mike Leslie told viewers that Clark “doesn’t need your protection” and Reese “doesn’t deserve your derision.”
Caitlin Clark is a grown woman. She doesn't need your protection.
Angel Reese is a champion. She doesn't need, or deserve, your derision. pic.twitter.com/HTOFYgCr4s
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) April 3, 2023
Despite it all, Reese finished the game as the Most Outstanding Player in the tournament. She also broke the single-season NCAA double-double record, marking her 34th in the championship game.
Check out more of the sports world’s reactions to Reese’s backlash on Twitter below:
People hating on Angel Reese or Caitlin Clark. Stop.
Unapologetically confident young women should be celebrated NOT hated.
Get used to it.
— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) April 2, 2023
How Angel Reese is being vilified by many highlights exactly what @dawnstaley was talking about.
— Jalen Rose (@JalenRose) April 2, 2023
If you didn’t say it was classless when Caitlin Clark did it to her opponents then don’t say it about Angel Reese either. https://t.co/5S8P6mvhhx
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) April 2, 2023
Congratulations to Angel Reese for recording her 34th double double, the most in NCAA history!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 2, 2023
Angel Reese, I stan.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) April 1, 2023
Lot of people BIG mad on Angel Reese hitting Caitlin Clark with the "can't see me" move.
Didn't see that same energy when Clark did it vs Louisville. https://t.co/jtd9WJsNp3
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) April 2, 2023
Take it or leave it: Everybody knows THIS game – trash talk and all – is good for the sport. Thank you ladies! Thank you Angel Reese for your courage – bc the hate is loud and ignorant. https://t.co/IQqkxSYmZq
— Cari Champion (@CariChampion) April 3, 2023
FACTS!!!! Love to see it https://t.co/YrrlIyg90S
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 3, 2023
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