LSU Players Taunted, Fans Didn't Like it, ESPN Cried 'Racism!'

John Simmons | April 3, 2023
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The LSU Tigers beat the Iowa Hawkeyes 102-85 in the women’s basketball national championship on Sunday. But as the final minutes were winding down, LSU forward Angel Reese directed an unnecessary amount of taunts at Iowa guard Caitlyn Clark.

With the Tigers shooting free throws with less than a minute to go in the game, Reese waved her hand in front of her face while looking at Clark. The Hawkeyes guard and national player of the year did the same thing towards the Louisville Cardinals in an Elite 8 matchup, with the gesture indicating the Cardinals couldn’t see her and therefore couldn’t stop her. In the title game, Reese was giving Clark a taste of her own medicine.

In terms of gamesmanship, this was perfectly fine. Clark can’t expect to be immune from receiving taunts if she loses -- especially after taunting multiple players on the way to the championship game -- and Reese didn’t cross any lines here.

But shortly thereafter, she most definitely did. With the final seconds ticking away, Reese purposefully walked up to Clark, repeatedly made the gesture, and pointed to her finger indicating she was about to get her ring at Clark’s expense.

There isn’t a shred of class or sportsmanship in these actions, but Reese wasn’t about to apologize in her postgame conference. Instead, she said she believes people complaining about her actions is evidence of racism.

People only said something about Reese’s actions because she went way over the top in taunting Clark. 

But that’s not how Jay Williams of ESPN sees it either. On the contrary, he thinks that people criticizing Reese for her actions is evidence that the media and fans are racist.

Williams couldn’t be more wrong. Some fans are simply disappointed at the extent to which Reese went to taunt Clark, no that she taunted Clark to begin with. Again, the first instance was fine, dragging it out for about ten seconds after you’ve already proven your point was not. 

It’s got nothing to do with race, but Williams and Reese had to go there because it's an effective way to grab headlines.

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