LSU basketball player Angel Reese has come under fire for her taunting behavior towards Iowa’s Caitlin Clark during their women’s basketball championship game.
While LSU won the match 102-85, Reese took the opportunity to gloat at Clark towards the end of the game.
She was seen dropping John Cena’s WWE ‘you can’t see me’ hand gesture while staring at Clark, who had previously used the gesture as a celebration.
Reese also pointed at her finger while staring at Clark, indicating that she would be picking up a championship ring.
The taunting drew a lot of criticism on social media, with many calling it classless and disrespectful.
Former NFL quarterback Danny Kanell tweeted, “What a classless move by Angel Reese. Doing WAY too much to taunt Clark.”
Another Twitter user wrote, “This is about the worst display of sportsmanship you could ever expect to see from an athlete. This was personal and directed at a single individual in a taunting manner. Just a bad look.”
Despite the criticism, NBA legend LeBron James tweeted his support for Reese’s actions, saying “Love to see it.”
However, Reese herself defended her actions in a post-match press conference, calling out the hypocrisy in the way players are judged by fans and the press.
Reese said, “All year, I was critiqued for who I was. I don’t fit the narrative. I don’t fit the box that y’all want me to be in. I’m too hood. I’m too ghetto. Y’all told me that all year. When other people do it, and y’all don’t say nothing… So this is for the girls that look like me. For those that want to speak up for what they believe in. It’s unapologetically you. And that’s what I [did] before tonight.”
She added, “It was bigger than me tonight. And Twitter is going to go into a rage every time.” While Reese’s defense may have resonated with some fans, many still saw her taunting as disrespectful and uncalled for.
Sportsmanship is an important aspect of any game, and athletes are expected to show respect to their opponents, regardless of the outcome. Taunting and gloating can be hurtful and can even tarnish the victory itself.
While it’s understandable that athletes may be caught up in the emotions of the game, it’s important to remember that sportsmanship and respect should always come first. As the saying goes, “win with class, lose with class, play with class.”