LSU women’s basketball star Angel Reese is not afraid of the social media madness that’s followed her since the Tigers dominated Iowa to win the NCAA women’s tournament on Sunday.
After LSU’s 102-85 win over the Hawkeyes, Reese faced backlash for taunting Iowa point guard Caitlin Clark with the John Cena “you can’t see me” celebration — waving her hand in front of her face, before pointing to her ring finger.
Tigers head coach Kim Mulkey said during an appearance on the “Today” show Monday that Reese is not going to apologize, and that trash-talk is part of who she is as a player.
“I don’t know much about social media and that’s the truth,” Mulkey said when asked about the situation. “So after the press conference I said, ‘What’s going on?’”
The coach then said that she had heard Reese did the same gesture that Clark made in Iowa’s Elite Eight win over Louisville when she had a 40-point triple-double.
Mulkey added that she did not know what the gesture means.
“[Reese] was upset because they [the public] attack her and they didn’t attack Caitlin and things like that,” Mulkey said.
“Listen, that child is a beast on the boards rebounding. That child just won a national championship. She’s not afraid of social media. That is who Angel is.
“She trash-talks on the court, but she doesn’t cross, really, the line of vulgarity. She’s had technicals called this year and she’s not going to apologize for it.”
Mulkey — a four-time title-winning coach — smirked and said: “Now, if I ever have to get involved, she knows that.
“Don’t misrepresent our university, don’t make us look bad. But guys, social media is the world we live in, like it or not.”
After Reese notched her 34th triple-double — an NCAA record — to help LSU win its first championship in franchise history, she responded to backlash she received over her postgame celebration.
During her postgame press conference, the sophomore forward pointed out the double standard in the women’s game, saying that she was critiqued all year and told she is “too hood and too ghetto.”
“But when other people do it, y’all don’t say nothing,” Reese said, later adding that she is unapologetically herself.
While she appeared on ESPN’s postgame show, Reese explained that she was “in [her] bag” because Clark had previously “disrespected” her teammate, LSU guard Alexis Morris, and the South Carolina Gamecocks in previous matchups.
When asked about the gesture, Clark said she was focused on her team in the moment.
The situation has dominated headlines, with top athletes and broadcasters across multiple leagues weighing in on the drama.
Both Reese and Clark’s social media followings have skyrocketed after the tournament — with Reese celebrating one million followers on Instagram on Monday.
“Ahhhh we at a milli omggggg,” she wrote over a screen grab of her account. “I love y’all… One thing y’all got do is have my back. We going uppppp.”
A separate post included a message to her cousin, UConn sophomore guard Jordan Hawkins after the Huskies defeated the San Diego State Aztecs 76-59 to win the NCAA Tournament on Monday.
“Proud of youuu,” Reese wrote with a heart emoji, including a photo of them in their respective uniforms.
Hawkins defended Reese after the game when he was asked about the backlash she’s received from the on-court situation with Clark.
“Angel has a heart of a lion,” said Hawkins, who finished with 16 points and three rebounds. “She’s not worried about any of that.
“She’s from the streets of Baltimore, so she’s the toughest of the toughest. That’s nothing to her.”
The pair grew up together in Maryland, and Hawkins said he’s looking forward to the future family gatherings.
“This is for all the kids from Gaithersburg, Maryland, that didn’t think they could do it,” Hawkins said on the postgame CBS broadcast. “I did it. Now you can do it, man. Me and Angel paved the way. We did it.”
“… I’m going to see her in Maryland soon. The cookout gone be lit.”
By: Ny Post