Black Community: How did the Angel Reese/Caitlin Clark situation turn ‘political’?



( Over a week ago, sports history was made following the LSU Tigers’ victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes for the women’s basketball Division I championship. The game drew 9.9 million viewers on ABC and ESPN2, according to fast national numbers by Nielsen, which made it the most viewed women’s basketball game on record. This is especially surprising considering neither LSU or Iowa is considered a ‘blueblood’ program of women’s college basketball like UConn, Tennessee, or Notre Dame, even though LSU did have a lot of success getting to the Final Four during the 2000s with former greats Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles leading the team. However, the star attraction for this year’s NCAA women’s basketball championship game was Caitlin Clark of Iowa, whose fame even overshadowed that of fellow All-American Angel Reese of LSU, who has been one of the most impactful transfers in women’s college basketball history.

Both Clark and Reese are great at what they do on the court, with Caitlin Clark’s shooting range and scoring invoking incredible Stephen Curry comparisons and the versatility and athleticism of Angel Reese making her a matchup problem for opponents the entire basketball season. Most are aware that Reese brought even more media attention to herself through some taunting of Clark near the end of the game with hand gestures that didn’t even include the most profane one that most people know involving a single finger. It is true that Angel Reese likely let the emotion of winning a hard-earned championship get the best of her along with probably some anger from the amount of media hype that Clark had gotten leading into the game (that Clark deserved but didn’t ask for). However, it is also true that Reese’s actions were not worse than cursing on live TV or were not profane insults.

The strangeness of the Angel Reese-Caitlin Clark taunting “scandal” was that it got “political” as a day after the championship game, U.S. First Lady Jill Biden suggested at an event at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver that like LSU, Iowa also should get the customary trip to the White House that sports champions often receive. It was a strange invitation from Biden regardless of how much attention women’s basketball received from that championship game and Iowa participating in it. Angel Reese had an interesting yet not surprising “political” rebuttal to Biden’s comments after Biden’s press secretary attempted to walk those comments back.

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Reese replied, “I don’t accept the apology because you said what you said. I said what I said and, like, you can’t go back on certain things you say,” Reese said. “I mean, you felt like they should’ve [been invited] because of sportsmanship. They can have that spotlight. We’ll go to the Obamas, we’ll see Michelle, we’ll see Barack.” Reese’s political analysis of Biden and the Obamas doesn’t seem to be the deepest but that might to be expected from a collegiate student-athlete but she was understandably frustrated by the perceived Iowa invitation to the White House.



Finish story here; Black Community: How did the Angel Reese/Caitlyn Clark situation turn ‘political’?