‘I’ve Been Attacked So Many Times’: The aftermath of Angel Reese’s emotional press conference interview

by Hunter Gilmore

LSU has bowed out of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. In the aftermath of a hard-fought battle, LSU Tigers star Angel Reese sat before the media. Her emotions were raw as she revealed how she’s been attacked, sexualized, and threatened since taking home the 2023 NCAA title last year. 

Reese and LSU’s season ended following a 94-87 defeat against Iowa in the Elite Eight. It was a bitter pill to swallow for Reese and her team, especially in a much-anticipated rematch against the University of Iowa and their star player, Caitlin Clark. 

However, it was not just the loss that weighed heavy on Reese’s heart she addressed to the press. It was a burden much deeper, one that transcended both on and off the court. 

In a poignant moment, Reese shared her struggles with the world, revealing a side of her story that often goes unseen. “I’ve been through so much. I’ve seen so much. I’ve been attacked so many times. Death threats. I’ve been sexualized. I’ve been threatened,” Reese expressed. 

It was a glaring reminder of the harsh realities that athletes, especially women of color, face in the spotlight. Reese went on to reveal how she hasn’t been happy since taking home the title. However, she maintained that she still “wouldn’t change anything.” Especially considering it was LSU’s first NCAA women’s championship. 

The basketball star faced tons of backlash online after giving a hand gesture to Iowa’s Clark during last year’s NCAA title game. Reese returned the favor after Clark made a similar gesture to Hailey Van Lith in last year’s NCAA Tournament. 

Political and sports commentator Keith Olbermann’s tweet labeled Reese an “idiotic.” Additional comments on Twitter described Reese’s actions as “classless.” 

One Twitter / X User tweeted, “What a classless move by Angel Reese. Doing WAY too much to taunt Clark.” Remarkably, the term “classless” gained traction on Twitter following Reese’s gesture.

Another tweet reads, “Angel Reese has no class. Caitlin Clark was raised right.”

However, along with the backlash came people who came to Reese’s defense. One Twitter / X user tweeting: “If you ever needed an example of systemic racism in American culture and why books on such should not be banned from schools, THIS IS IT!” 

Despite both Reese and Clark both engaging in hand gestures during games, Reese found herself unfairly singled out, subjected to scrutiny and vitriol that went beyond the bounds of basketball.

In a landscape where Black athletes are often held to different standards and subjected to heightened scrutiny, Reese’s experience served as a poignant reminder of the racial issues that persist.

Yet, amid the adversity, Reese’s courage and resilience has shone through. Her willingness to speak out, to share her truth, and to confront the uncomfortable realities of her experience showcased her strength and character.

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