After big loss against Iowa, LSU’s Angel Reese says she’s been getting death threats for a year

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Angel Reese, the LSU basketball star who led her team to the NCAA women’s national championship a year ago, said that was the last time she lived without drama, as the fallout from winning the title led to death threats and hate speech hurled at her.
Following a 97-84 Elite Eight loss to Iowa on Monday night, Reese tearfully shared her challenges.
“I’ve been through so much,” she told reporters during the postgame news conference. “I’ve seen so much. I’ve been attacked so many times, death threats. I’ve been sexualized. I’ve been threatened. I’ve been so many things, and I’ve stood strong every single time.”
Reese’s turmoil began when, near the end of LSU’s victory over Iowa in last year’s title game, she approached Iowa star Caitlin Clark and waved an open hand across her face, a move popularized by WWE star John Cena to mean “You can’t see me.” Reese then pointed to her ring finger in a gesture that indicated she would earn a championship ring.
Clark had made a similar gesture to another player earlier in the tournament.
“All this has happened since I won the national championship,” Reese said. “And it sucks, but I still wouldn’t change anything, and I would still sit here and say I’m unapologetically me. I’m going to always leave that mark and be who I am and stand on that.”
LSU teammate Flau’jae Johnson said after the game that Reese’s drama has been unwarranted.
“Everybody can have their opinion on Angel Reese, but y’all don’t know her,” Johnson said. “I know the real Angel Reese, and the person I see every day is a strong person, is a caring, loving person. But the crown she wears is heavy.”
Hailey Van Lith, a white teammate of Reese’s, said Sunday that racism was at the heart of the criticism her team has received after a Los Angeles Times column Friday described them as “dirty debutantes.” (The LA Times has since edited the piece, adding that it didn’t meet its standards.)
“A lot of the people that are making those comments are being racist towards my teammates,” she said.
After the game Monday night, Van Lith said the attacks did not defeat Reese.
“People speak hate into her life,” Van Lith said. “I’ve never seen people wish bad things on someone as much as her, and it does not affect her. She comes to practice every day. She lives her life every day. She lives how she wants to live, and she don’t let nobody change that. That’s the key to life right there. Y’all do not get to her. Let me say it again. Y’all do not get to Angel Reese. So you might want to throw the towel in because you’re wasting your energy.”
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