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Much has been written about Angel Reese taunting Caitlin Clark at the end of LSU’s National Championship victory over Iowa.
While I believe Reese taunting Clark — in the manner she did — is pretty classless, that’s not going to be the focus of this commentary. Though, ESPN has already deemed me racist for saying that.
No, I think the bigger issue is how she handled the postgame news conference. Not only how she handled it, but how the media is covering her comments.
Here’s what Reese said when asked about her taunts:
All year, I was critiqued for who I was. I don’t fit the narrative. I don’t fit 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, and y’all don’t say nothing. So this is for the girls that look like me. For those that want to speak up for what they believe in. It’s unapologetically you. And that’s what I did it for tonight. It was bigger than me tonight. And Twitter is going to go into a rage every time. And I’m happy. I feel like I’ve helped grow women’s basketball this year.Angel Reese, LSU basketball player
Of course, the majority of media is fawning over her comments.
Harmless enough, right? Except I’m getting tired of the “for those who look like me” comments.
Why are we, as a society, so quick to applaud this type of language? First of all, what exactly constitutes “look like me”?
Angel Reese is a 6’3″ 20-year-old woman. How many American women are 6’3″?
But she doesn’t mean that, of course not. She simply means “black girls.” But what is the message here? I’ll tell you: the constant messaging is that we SHOULD be dividing ourselves by skin color.
That you should only seek role models who “look like you.” That’s a terrible message. Also, I’m certain other black girls have won NCAA Tournament National Championships and Most Outstanding Player awards, so I’m not sure what she’s saying young, black girls should take away from her achievement.
Another problem with her language is the “unapologetically me” nonsense that continues to permeate society.
We all act differently in different circumstances. There seems to be a common complaint — and again, she’s talking about race when she says this — among the black community that people can’t “be themselves” in American society.
And, don’t take it from me. Shannon Sharpe broke it down on Undisputed.
“She said ‘unapologetically me,’ she means unapologetically BLACK,” Sharpe said, with extra emphasis on that last word.
I heard this complaint a lot when I was working in corporate America, especially. That black colleagues felt uncomfortable being themselves at work. That employees had to try and “fit in” with “white culture.”
But here’s the dirty little secret: we all do that. I wear different clothes to work than I do when I’m hanging out with my friends.
I talk to my boss differently than I talk to my buddies over a beer. This is not a uniquely black experience. It’s a human experience.
This is how society works: you speak to your grandmother differently than you speak to your friends.
But we keep beating this drum of victimhood, constantly. That we force black people to act differently, while white people are “unapologetically themselves.”
I have news for everyone: society doesn’t want ANYONE being unapologetically themselves at all times. Why? Because we’re all, by nature, selfish creatures.
Nobody want you treating public places like you treat your own home. Sitting on an airplane is not the same as sitting on your couch. Don’t kick your shoes off and put your nasty feet on the seat in front of you.
This is called SOCIETY. We all have to get along. Yes, you might have to act a little differently in public than you do it private. We all do. This does not make anyone special.
And that brings me to last point in her speech.
“It was bigger than me tonight.”
The basketball game? Winning an NCAA Championship is cool, but it doesn’t help anyone else. This idea that these events are so important to the greater good is unbelievable narcissism.
Angel Reese believes that her winning a basketball trophy is so much “bigger than [her].”Just think about that for a moment.
That’s in line with all the self-aggrandizing craziness that is permeating our fragile society.
Lest you think I am attacking Angel Reese, I am not. She’s no different than every athlete that promotes this talk. Not even just athletes.
But we’re focusing on athletes mostly because they play a game. They’re not changing the world.
But there’s this desire to feel like you are changing the world, especially among the younger generation. So much so, that younger people assign great importance to things that just aren’t that important.
Angel Reese “speaks up for what she believes in.” Which would be what, exactly?
Again, this is a critique of the media. Nothing she said on that stage was particularly profound. But many are treating it like she cracked the code on humanity.
Here’s a better message for Angel Reese to spread to the “girls who look like” her.
If you work really hard, practice every day, and give 100% effort: you will be successful.
See, that’s America. And that’s the America we should be promoting. I am certain that Angel Reese works very hard at basketball.
But instead of talking about the work, she plays the victim card.
And she said all the right things that people are going to eat up. She’s going to get paid. The new social media followers and the “likes” are piling up. The money comes next.
That’s good for Angel Reese. But it doesn’t help anyone else. In fact, that kind of talk only hurts the overall goals for our society.
Let’s not pretend that it doesn’t.
You know what, she’s right. This is bigger than her. Because it’s not an Angel Reese problem.
It’s an American society problem.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @RealDanZak
8 CommentsLeave a Reply
Women`s basketball is the same as women`s soccer: Nobody gives a sh*t about either. Both are just a bunch of woke women who bitch about this country, stay in the locker room during the national anthem and take the knee. You could see this BS coming from a mile away on Saturday, the day before the game. I`m sure Caitlan Clark is just as annoying, but these people have decided to use race to get exposure and attention. There`s NO WAY this will be sustainable. As the saying goes: I like women and I like basketball…………but I don`t like women`s basketball.
F her, all her enablers, and the media that just copypasta each others’ posts on tw@tter. Also, F anybody who uses the word ‘unapologeticly’. It’s not even a word
Well said – Spot-on!
Watching TV whether its sports … music … sitcoms … news … is totally discretionary. I don’t have to do it if I choose not to.
I choose not to watch WBB other a handful of events over the last ten years. I haven’t watched an NBA game in 5 years. don’t intend to watch the MBB Finals tonight. I’m fine that others do and I assume they enjoy doing so. I can only control what I choose to do. I don’t have an appreciation for Black Culture. Blacks dominate college/pro basketball. Good for them. I WILL match The Masters. I haven’t watched an ESPN studio show in 6-7 years … haven’t missed anything that mattered to me.
No sport needs to change to accommodate my preferences. I’m fine with my choices. Dawn Staley … this LSU girl … BE YOU whatever … I don’t care.
She made a fool of herself following Clark around the court where one time would have been fine. Imagine if Iowa had won and Clark had said “we are who we are, get used to it” as a nod to the fact that virtually the entire team is white. The Marxist media toadies would wet their pants. This is a fringe sport that Clark elevated the ratings of, and nobody will care in a week.
This article is outstanding. Well done, Dan.
Great game, even though HULU crapped out with 41 seconds left. The Iowa player did the Cena move once right? Away from any player?
So what. Granted she did say “you are down 15 so STFU”. Solid trash talk.
LSU girl did it repeatedly? To the face of a player? Needs to be done. Granted, it seemed a little excessive. You won already, chill out.
Like I said HULU crapped out. I only have seen it on Twitter and replays.
What would MJ or Bird do? Laimbeer? Pippen? That’s the standard. Talk shit. I welcome that. Needs to be done. Talk all the shit you want. That’s the nature of sports.
I once had a catcher tell me I was about to be hit by a pitch so get ready. I said “watch this”. Bounced it off the hip of a pitcher, taking him out of the game. Took first base. When I scored I said “how’d that work out for you?” “Good hit man….”
Sports should be constant shit talking.
While I’m not a fan of women’s BB, Caitlin Clark has given a jolt to the sport and will be way more popular and $ucce$$ful than whiny, sore winner Angel Reese.