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Angel Reese refuses Jill Biden apology but has ‘no beef’ with Caitlin Clark

"I don’t accept the apology," LSU star Angel Reese said after Jill Biden walked back her White House invitation to runner-up Iowa. (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark are good.

On the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast, Reese addressed her relationship with Iowa star Caitlin Clark, at whom she directed a pointed celebration Sunday after LSU’s national championship win.

That moment has resulted in backlash against Reese, even though Clark has said she doesn’t think criticism is warranted.

“I don’t think Angel should be criticized at all,” Clark said. “No matter which way it goes, she should never be criticized for what she did. I’m one that competes, and she competed.”

Reese cleared the air as well during her podcast appearance.

“There is no beef,” she said. “There’s actually no beef.”

Sunday was not the first time the fierce competitors have matched up. They played against one another three times in Reese’s two seasons at Maryland. And Clark herself is no stranger to trash talk and celebrations, having done the same “you can’t see me” gesture earlier in the tournament.

When asked about the response she has received compared to the response Clark received for the same gesture, Reese said she does not see any justification for the harsher judgment placed upon her.

“Honestly there’s no excuse,” she said. “I don’t think there’s an excuse for that. But the thing is, I’ve had a narrative all year where they told me I was too hood, I was too ghetto.

“Anything I do, it goes viral. Every single time, positive or negative. When she did it, everybody was so happy. When I did it, it was an issue just because of what I look like. People are saying she still had 30 [points]. They lost. At the end of the day, they lost and we won and we celebrate how we wanna celebrate.”

Of course, that celebration comes with a White House visit, a traditional invitation extended to NCAA champions. But First Lady Jill Biden threw a wrench into those plans Monday, when she said she would also love to see runners-up Iowa join the party.

While Biden later walked back her comment, Reese is not inclined to accept the apology from the First Lady.

“I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t accept the apology,” she said. “Because, you said what you said. You can’t go back on certain things that you say. You felt like they should’ve came because of ‘sportsmanship,’ right? They can have that spotlight. We’ll go to the Obamas.”

When asked if she would attend a White House visit, Reese did not commit to an answer. And for Reese, the issue runs deeper, as she doesn’t think that the same invite would have been extended had Iowa won and LSU lost.

“I just know if the roles were reversed, there wouldn’t be the same – if we were to lose, we would not be getting invited to the White House,” she said. “And I remember she made a comment about both teams should be invited because it was sportsmanship. And I’m like, are you saying that because of what I did? Like, stuff like that, it bothers me. Because, you are a woman at the end of the day. … You’re supposed to be standing behind us before anything.

“So it’s hard to see things like that and not to comment back on it. But at the same time, I have the platform right now where I can speak out on it.”

Reese isn’t the only one speaking out on the White House invitation. Clark told SportsCenter on Tuesday that she doesn’t think Iowa should be invited.

“That’s for LSU,” Clark said. “… They should enjoy every single second of being the champion. I think that’s theirs to do.

“I don’t think runner-ups usually go to the White House. LSU should enjoy that moment for them. And congratulations, obviously; they deserve to go there. Maybe I could go to the White House [someday] on different terms.”

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder agreed, noting that “a day at the White house should belong solely to the champion.”

Still, it doesn’t make the comments sting any less for Reese.

“To think about it, when you came to the game were you coming to see that one team win? Or were you coming to see everybody win?” the LSU star said. “And it’s hard to see that because we work just as hard as Iowa did. And I just know if the roles were reversed it would not be the same. So it’s hard for me to even imagine, what in your mind even thought for you to process bringing both teams there.

“Last night, San Diego State lost and I didn’t see her say ‘Oh, San Diego State is coming as well.’ That’s weird to me.”