Outrage over Angel Reese's taunting of Caitlin Clark called a 'black-white issue'
| Last updated
A bunch of big-name sports stars have been forced to leap to the defence of Angel Reese after she taunted fellow college basketball star Caitlin Clark.
During the NCAA final against Iowa, LSU's Reese did John Cena's 'you can’t see me' gesture towards her opponent as the Tigers secured a 102-85 victory over the tournament favourites.
Reese was also seen pointing to her finger in Clark's direction, a reference to the championship ring she was about to receive.
This is classless. Angel Reese is only 20, so she’s still young, but taunting Caitlin Clark like this shows a pure lack of class.— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) April 2, 2023
Win with class, lose with class, play with class.
Clark’s mom and dad can be proud that her daughter ignored the taunting. They raised her right. pic.twitter.com/HQyVFuyJIw
Interestingly, Clark sent social media into a frenzy during March Madness when she did the 'you can’t see me' gesture herself after scoring a 40-point triple double.
However, when she did it, fans loved it and heaped praise on the future WNBA star.
But when Reese did it, people called her out and labelled it as 'showboating' and 'arrogant'.
and so is your mother— SHAQ (@SHAQ) April 3, 2023
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy tweeted that Reese was a 'classless piece of s**t' on Twitter, while American sports commentator Keith Olberman called Reese a 'f**king idiot’.
Taking a glance over at various comments on social media, it seemed Reese took a lot of flak for it from fans too – while Clark, on the other hand, did not.
ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith believes the hate towards Reese’s actions is driven purely by race.
"Here’s the reality of the situation: She [Clark] instigated this kind of stuff. Let’s call it what it is," Stephen A. said.
"She was waving, she was doing the Cena. How about what she did to Raven Johnson? She didn’t just go into the lane and not guard her against South Carolina in the national semifinal. She waved her off, she didn’t mind being disrespectful. So, why is it that we’re hesitant to bring that up?
"We all know that there’s a white-black issue here because the fact of the matter is when Caitlin did it, people were celebrating it, and they were talking about nothing but her greatness. But then the second a sister steps up and threw it back in her face, now you got half the basketball world saying, ‘You know what? That’s not the classiest thing to do. That’s not the way to act.’ It was the exact same thing."
He added: "You know exactly what the hell you’re doing as people when you bring up how Angel Reese acted but you don’t want to bring up how Caitlin Clark acted. That’s the inconsistency in the story."
In the wake of the barrage of criticism, a number of celebrities and sports stars also came out to bat for the 20-year-old.
shut your dumb ass up leave angel reese alone.— SHAQ (@SHAQ) April 3, 2023
When a white woman from Iowa, Caitlin Clark taunts the other team during a game it’s “funny” and “part of competition”.— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) April 3, 2023
When a black woman from Louisiana, Angel Reese, decides to do it back, she’s “not showing sportsmanship” and “disgusting”.
If you ever needed an example of… pic.twitter.com/MuHMdO4Tsn
If it wasn’t “classless” when Caitlin Clark did it, don’t call it classless when Angel Reese does it. Let the women compete, it’s sports!! pic.twitter.com/lJpS1NId68— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) April 2, 2023
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
Zero problem with Angel Reese, Caitlin Clarke or anyone as good as they are talking junk, because they back it up on the court. Some of y'all always have exceptions to your "rules" about "sportsmanship."— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) April 2, 2023
Speaking about the incident after guiding LSU to a national championship, Reese defender herself.
"I’m happy. All year, I was critiqued about who I was. The narrative – I don’t fit the narrative. I don’t fit the box you all want me to be in. I’m too hood. I’m too ghetto. You told me that all year," Reese said.
"I'm too hood, I'm too ghetto. Y'all told me that all year. But when other people do it, y'all don't say nothing. So this is for the girls that look like me."— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) April 2, 2023
Angel Reese is unapologetically her 👏 @Reese10Angel pic.twitter.com/9cuCWwayhA
"But when other people do it – you all don’t say nothing. So, this is for the girls that look like me. That’s going to speak up for what they believe in. It’s unapologetically you, and that’s what I did it for tonight. It was bigger than me tonight. It was bigger than me. Twitter is going to go in a rage every time. And, I mean, I’m happy. I feel like I helped grow women’s basketball this year. I’m super happy and excited. I’m looking forward to celebrating and then next season."
She added: "Caitlin Clark is a hell of a player for sure, but I don’t take disrespect lightly. And she disrespected Alexis [Morris] and South Carolina, they’re still my SEC girls, too. You all are not going to disrespect them either."