The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

Examining the Angel Reese-Caitlin Clark conflict

Getty Images

In the 2023 NCAA women’s basketball national championship game on April 2, the LSU Tigers defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 102-85. This marks LSU’s first women’s national championship victory.

Shortly after the game, an argument ignited online over a hand signal Clark and Reese made throughout the tournament, which focused on the disparity between how white and Black players are discussed. This has dominated conversation since the Hawkeyes’ loss to LSU in the NCAA championship rather than the game itself.

Angel Reese, the standout forward for the Tigers, gave Hawkeyes star Caitlin Clark the identical “Can’t See Me” gesture Clark displayed during Iowa’s semifinal victory over South Carolina in the closing seconds of the game. The gesture was popularized by WWE superstar and actor John Cena in the 2000s.

Reese pointed to her ring finger in anticipation of the final whistle and LSU receiving its first-ever national championship win in program history. As Clark moved toward the sidelines, Reese raised her palm up directly in front of her opponent, showing off her soon-to-be championship ring-wearing finger.

“It just is what it is, and I accept it, and I want to take on that role of being the black woman that will stand up for the girls that may not have a voice,” Reese told the media after the victory. “I’m happy I can be the role model and the person that everyone looks up to and can do those things that others may want to say. So, I’m just happy right now.”

Reese scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the championship game, while Clark scored 30 points and dished off eight assists.

The DMV native who transferred from the University of Maryland before the season, made her mark on women’s college basketball history after setting a record with 34 double-doubles on the season — the most ever in a single season by an individual in women’s NCAA Division I history.

The gesture has generated a ton of discussions on what is fair trash talk and what isn’t, particularly on social media.

As a result, Reese has come under fire from some, while others have defended her conduct by pointing out that there was no backlash following Clark’s gesture earlier in the competition.

While former ESPN host Keith Olbermann referred to Reese as an “idiot” for the gesture, Our Esquina sports columnist Jose de Jesus Ortiz labeled her actions “classless.”

Although ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith supported Reese and the Tigers, he applauded Clark. According to Smith, Clark initiated the drama initially.

“I love Caitlin Clark and believe she is spectacular. I believe you can go to the next level when you can pull up from the parking lot like Steph Curry. It will be amazing to witness, and I can’t wait to see it. The truth of the matter is that Clark initiated this sort of behavior,” Smith said. “What did she do to Raven Johnson, for example? Not only did she not protect her, but she also waved Johnson off during the national semifinal.”

Reese spoke about her friendship with Iowa standout Caitlin Clark on the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast. On Sunday, after LSU won the national title, Reese directed a targeted celebration at Clark. Reese has faced criticism as a result of the incident, despite Clark’s assertion that such criticism is unjustified.

“Angel shouldn’t be criticized in any way, according to me,” Clark stated. “She should never be chastised for what she accomplished, regardless of the outcome. I participated in competitions, and she did as well.”

During her visit on the program, Reese also clarified the situation. There isn’t any beef, she declared. Indeed, there is no beef.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The A&T Register Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *