Perception of the Media with Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark
By Clifton Dutton and Brodric Houston
In one of the most watched games in women’s college basketball history with over 9.9 viewers, the LSU Tigers beat the Iowa Hawkeyes in the National Championship with the score of 102-85.
Once the nets were cut down and the celebrations ended, the headlines weren’t about the plays of the game, but about the gesture LSU forward Angel Reese gave to Iowa guard Caitlin Clark.
Caitlin Clark had an outstanding year averaging 28 points per game with seven rebounds and nine assists for the Hawkeyes. Caitlin also was named AP Player of the Year for the 2022-2023 season.
The Hawkeyes were boasting with confidence when they were beating Louisville in the Elite Eight, on their way to the final four. When Clark headed back to the bench, she gestured WWE John Cena’s “You can’t see me,” to Louisville players after the game was close to ending.
In their game against South Carolina, Clark did not guard Raven Johnson one play and actually waved her off disrespectfully. Clark was sitting in the key while her player she had to guard was at the center of the three-point line. In addition, she also received a technical foul for chucking the ball by the basket during the game against LSU.
Reese also had an excellent year averaging 23 points per game with 15 rebounds and two assists per game for the LSU Tigers. The Tigers were ranked as the No. 3 seed going into the NCAA tournament and did not disappoint. Following Clark’s gesture to South Carolina, LSU players thought it was disrespectful and were taking their finals matchup personally.
Fast forward to the national championship, in the final seconds of a blowout win for the Tigers, Reese decided to do the same gesture Clark did to the Louisville players. She followed Clark around to get her attention for a few seconds. In addition, Reese also added the “Ring me,” gesture by pointing at her wedding finger.
Immediately, all of Twitter and the rest of social media started bashing Reese calling her actions, “classless” and even more derogatory terms. Everyone believes that Reese got backlash for doing the same gesture as Clark because of her race. Reese spoke with ESPN about what happened after the game.
“Caitlin Clark is a hell of a player, but I don’t take disrespect lightly.”
Later she doubled down on what she calls hate and personal attacks from the media she had been feeling all year.
“But when other people do it, yall don’t say nothing,” Tigers forward Reese said. “So this is for girls that look like me, that want to speak up on what they believe in. It’s unapologetically you. It was bigger than me tonight.”
It’s important to remember that Reese’s contributions to her team is just as important as Clark’s. Clark is the best player on her team and Reese’s performance made some think she was just some role player talking trash. Reese is not only one of the best interior players in the nation and the best player on her team, but she also set the record for most double-doubles in a single season for women’s college basketball at 34.
Finally, the White House First Lady Jill Biden pitched an invitation for Iowa to visit along with LSU. Her insisting this has added more uproar to what the NCAA is already dealing with. Team based sports have never allowed the losers to get the same appreciation as the winners, so it makes one think about the reasons behind the pitch.
Copy Edited By Clifton Dutton