You’ve probably seen Angel Reese’s name going viral on social media or watched the 2023 NCAA Women’s national championship. When Angel Reese mirrored Iowa Hawkeyes player Caitlin Clark with the John Cena “You can’t see me” hand gesture following the LSU Tigers win.
The LSU women’s basketball team beat Iowa in the 2023 NCAA Women’s national championship, their first one in program history, after six failed efforts in the Final Four.
In the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, Angel Reese, Alexis Morris, Flaujae, and Jasmine Carson helped the No. 3 seeded LSU Tigers defeat the No. 2 seeded Iowa Hawkeyes 102-85. However, it’s not solely due to the fact that they won that the LSU Tigers have gained popularity recently. During their victory, Angel Reese, who was voted the Final Four Most Outstanding Player, and contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds to set a new record for the most double-doubles (34) in a single season became a viral topic on social media.
Following the game, after Angel did the John Cena Gesture there were many debates on social media, and it wasn’t about the win. The game between two college basketball teams has sparked a contentious controversial discussion about sportsmanship, however, it also brought to light apparent discrimination against black female athletes. This was not surprising to fans, following Sha’Carri Richardson an American track and field sprinter who got banned from playing for smoking, although many other players had done the same.
Jose de Jesus Ortiz a former STL Post-Dispatch Sports columnist took it upon himself to post on Twitter calling Angel “classless,” which went viral, with many fans stating that he ignored the fact that Caitlin Clark had done the same gesture to many other players when she won games, even in earlier in the recent tournament. Many fans and celebrities started to speak out about the racism, and inequality faced by black athletes. Following the criticism she has received, Angel Reese commented stating she doesn’t regret what she did and even went on an interview to speak up about the issue surrounding inequality and standing up for others.
“I want to take on that role of being the Black woman that’s going to stand up for the girls that may not have a voice. … I don’t care what anybody has to say about me. I love who I am. … I’m authentically me… I don’t fit in 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. But when other people do it, y’all don’t say nothing. This was for the people that look like me” Angel Reese stated.
.@Reese10Angel spoke handling the criticism she's received:— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 3, 2023
"I want to take on that role of being the Black woman that's going to stand up for the girls that may not have a voice. … I don't care what anybody has to say about me. I love who I am. … I'm authentically me." pic.twitter.com/RJOyFR3xBz
Congratulations to Angel Reese for recording her 34th double double, the most in NCAA history!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 2, 2023
yeah my uncle shaq don’t play bout me. period. https://t.co/BnAZ5XcwWb— Angel Reese (@Reese10Angel) April 3, 2023
20-year-old American college basketball player Angel C. Reese plays shooting guard and small forward for the Southeastern Conference’s LSU Tigers. She was raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and was born on May 6, 2002, in Randallstown, Maryland. She transferred from the University of Maryland to Louisiana State University. Reese’s family has a few sports players in her family, her brother Jullian Reese and her cousin Jordan Hawkins are both also basketball players.