Caitlin Clark And Angel Reese Woke Up The Beast

When Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese went head to head in the Elite 8, it spiked ESPN’s viewership exponentially. Of course, Caitlin Clark and her Iowa Hawkeyes will go on to match up against Paige Bueckers and her UConn Huskies next but this beast that is raging is not just about basketball and the NCAA Women’s league.

Last year, it was a different picture when Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese saw each other. That’s because they had both earned themselves a spot in the championship and everything was on the line. Angel Reese would walk away from that one with the championship ring and wasted no time pointing that out to her opponent.

Caitlin Clark Getting Taunted

Opponents get fierce in every sport and women’s basketball is no different. Angel Reese is known as a trash talker. In fact, when Hailey Van Lith committed to LSU, Angel was excited and one of the stories was about how much trash talk they would both be doing.

But Angel actually pulled the pin on a grenade when she taunted Caitlin and it’s shocking how much vitriol she has received in response to it. She’s been sent death threats from the keyboard warriors for doing the John Cena “You Can’t See Me” gesture and her ring finger taunt that has become quite infamous. Think about that for a moment. Karens are so upset because she won and taunted her opponent that they want to threaten a college basketball player.

It paints a very real picture that Caitlin Clark is everyone’s sweetheart and Angel Reese is the evil villain. But wow, what a pathetic world we live in when it comes down to that. They’re both great basketball players with bright futures ahead and they deserve the best. Why can’t fans watch the game and enjoy the excitement of the competition without needing a villain to take out all their miserable hatred?

She’s human. The internet can get heavy. When it’s thousands of racist comments and death threats, it can take a toll on a person’s spirit. But the keyboard warriors will make fun of her for taking on the role of the villain when she was winning and now, crying when she lost. The fact of the matter is that they wouldn’t be able to take all that pressure if they had to deal with it while Reese is actually winning and she’ll continue to win even if she does have to stop every once in a while and let her fans know how she’s feeling when people are hating on her simply for being great.

Years ago, when I turned on a WNBA game, I didn’t see too many fans in the stands. It wasn’t bringing in that much revenue and the world really wasn’t paying attention. The girls that were growing up then saw that and took note.

A few years ago, I turned on a March Madness women’s game and watched until the half. That’s when they did a report on the difference between men’s March Madness and women’s. The men were treated like celebrities with some nice swag and the best accommodations.

It was the opposite for the women. It’s like they were ushered through the backdoor and hidden in the dungeons of basketball. Any brand that was part of the welcoming committee should be embarrassed by what they called swag. Sedona Prince documented the huge difference in how men were treated compared to women but she wasn’t as interested in the swag as she was in the weight room and the space to warmup.

It appears the NCAA fixed that and started giving the girls more swag. But it was all just evidence about the hill women’s basketball has had to climb. And the young girls have been watching the whole time.

The difference is they’re not young anymore. They’re Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese. They’re not just out there playing basketball. They’re giving the world something exciting to watch. They’re bringing the viewers and that’s going to take the game into the future.

Caitlin Clark can get the crowd into it when she needs to hear the roar from the stands. She’s out there playing basketball with a job to do but she takes the time to look at her fans and get them screaming. Angle Reese can look up after a play and get her fans on their feet. They are both energy and they’re changing the game. But some people aren’t ready for all that.

Keyboard warriors still stuck in yesterday can make a lot of noise. They can make one person feel like they’re being attacked by an entire army. And they’re coming at these players with everything they have. Not only that, but they’re attacking from every angle they can find.

They attack teammates:

That attack really doesn’t make sense to me but it’s an attack nonetheless.

They attack parents:

So, Caitlin Clark was raised properly and what does that say about Angel Reese?

And they’ll keep attacking:

Women’s basketball is on the rise. More fans are watching it now more than ever. Millions of fans should be able to drowned out the voices of the keyboard warriors. It’s just human nature to internalize that rather than focus on all the love pouring in from the fans who respect your game and look forward to your future.

It’s not wrong to join the conversation. That’s what social media gives the fans the space to do. But when the conversation takes such a hateful turn, it’s the haters who need called out on their petty childishness. These are college basketball players. They’re not serial killers or sex traffickers. They’re not pedophiles or politicians.

They go to school. They go to practice. And every once in a while, they get the chance to change the world. That’s all. Nothing to see here.

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