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Caitlin Clark defends Angel Reese: ‘I don’t think she should be criticized’

Angel Reese

Photo caption: Angel Reese (credit:

By Olafimihan Oshin, The Hill

University of Iowa star guard Caitlin Clark defended fellow college basketball star Louisiana State University’s (LSU) Angel Reese over the criticism she received after taunting Clark during Sunday’s NCAA Division I women’s basketball national championship game.

“I don’t think Angel should be criticized at all, you know, no matter which way it goes, you know, she should never be criticized for what she did,” Clark said during an appearance on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” Tuesday, when host Jeremy Schaap asked if race was a factor in the backlash to Reese.

“You know, I’m just one that competes and she competed…I think everybody knew there was gonna be a little trash talk in the entire tournament. It’s not just me and Angel,” Clark said, calling herself a “big fan” of Reese.

In the final seconds of LSU’s 102-85 win over Iowa, cameras caught Reese was seen taunting Clark with a “U Can’t See Me,” hand gesture, popularized by WWE legend John Cena, and also pointed at her ring finger, signifying her team’s championship victory.

Clark, who broke numerous tournament records, also was seen taunting several opponents during her team’s tournament run, flashing the “U Can’t See Me” hand gesture toward Louisville guard Hailey Van Lith during their Elite Eight contest and waving off University of South Carolina guard Raven Johnson as she had the ball in hand, appearing to dismiss guarding her during the team’s Final Four matchup.

Resse, a Baltimore County, native, received massive attention for her taunting gesture toward Clark, with some referring to Reese’s gesture as “classless,” while others defend Reese, saying that taunting your opponent is a part of competitive sports.

“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,” Reese said in response to the incident, noting that she and her LSU teammates didn’t like the disrespect Clark was showing to their Southeastern Conference (SEC) rival.

“So this is for the girls that look like me,” Reese said.

Clark’s comments come as First Lady Jill Biden, who was in attendance at the championship game, suggested that both teams should be invited to the White House while speaking at an event in Denver on Monday

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After receiving criticism over her suggestion, Biden’s office walked back her suggestion, saying that her comments “were intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes,” adding the First Lady is excited to celebrate with LSU at the White House.

“I don’t know. I don’t think runner-ups usually go to the White House. I think LSU should enjoy that moment for them and congratulations, obviously, they deserve to go there. Maybe I could go to the White House on different terms,” Clark said.

“I appreciate the First Lady being in the house and watching both teams and supporting the greatness of women’s basketball,” Clark said.

This article originally appeared on The Hill.

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