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Caitlin Clark: ‘I don’t think Angel Reese should be criticized at all’

LSU's Angel Reese points at her ring finger behind Iowa's Caitlin Clark in celebration of the Tigers' NCAA championship win. (Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

After Sunday’s record-setting national championship game, Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark seem destined to have a rivalry for the ages.

The inciting incident has sparked a heated online debate since it occurred Sunday: Reese staring down Clark as the clock ticked down on LSU’s title win, sending the Iowa star’s “you can’t see me” gesture back at her.

The LSU sophomore received backlash for the pointed celebration, but Clark herself remained unfazed, both in the moment of the game and later on, as she told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Tuesday afternoon.

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

That response should not come as a surprise from Clark. After all, the Hawkeyes’ junior guard herself went viral after performing the same gesture in the Elite Eight win over Louisville.

“I think everybody knew there was going to be a little trash talk in the entire tournament, it’s not just me and Angel,” Clark said. “I’m a big fan of hers.”

Reese seems similarly unbothered by the social media stir resulting from her post-victory celebration, which also included her pointing emphatically at her ring finger as she stared in Clark’s direction.

“All year, I was critiqued about who I was,” Reese said. “I don’t fit the narrative. I don’t fit in a 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, y’all say nothing. So this was for the girls that look like me, that’s going to speak up on what they believe in. It’s unapologetically you. That’s what I did it for tonight. It was bigger than me tonight. It was bigger than me.”