Caitlin Clark Responds To Taunts By LSU [WATCH]
The women's national championship game has come and gone, and sadly for Iowa fans, the game didn't go our way. A lot has been talked about online about how poor the officiating of the game was and I believe my colleague makes a pretty good point in saying "The Hawkeyes Weren't Robbed...But Basketball Fans Were" as he put together an opinion piece about the officiating of the game.
There was a moment with about 53 seconds left in the game when the LSU Tigers were up 16 points when one of LSU's star players started taunting Caitlin Clark. Angel Reese has had a fantastic season for LSU as she made history in the national championship game. Reese recorded her 34th double-double of the season, which broke the NCAA record for double-doubles, according to LSU Reveille.
This all started when Iowa took on Louisville in an Elite 8 matchup, on March 26. One of Louisville's star players, Hailey Van Lith, and Caitlin Clark were caught on camera having a few words with each other during the game. When that game was in the 4th quarter and Iowa was up 15 points, Caitlin had this to say to Hailey.
It doesn't take a professional lip reader to see Caitlin says to Hailey "You're down by 15 points. Shut up." Clearly, the two were chirping at each other all game as this wasn't the only moment the two had that made headlines. Last week Caitlin made waves on social media when she was spotted doing John Cena's signature "you can't see me" move.
Here's where things get a bit complicated. Some fans believe Caitlin was making this gesture toward her own bench, as a way to fire up her own team. Others believe it was directed toward Hailey. You can see in the video above that number 10 appears to walk past the direction Caitlin was looking in. Was it directed at her, I guess we'll never know the truth but it does appear to be in that direction.
Fast forward to the national championship game, Angel Reese made the very same gesture towards Caitlin at the end of the game.
The internet did what it always does and this blew up on social media. The word classless was trending on Twitter at one point, with everyone from professional athletes, media members, and everyday fans weighing in. When something blows up on social media like this moment did, reporters are most definitely going to ask about it after the game.
Caitlin Clark's Response To LSU Taunts
To be fair, Caitlin doesn't really answer the question at all. She mentions not seeing the taunt and that she was just trying to take in the moment. Personally, I find it hard to believe she didn't actually see it...Angel followed her around the court multiple times trying to make sure it was right in front of her face. Either way kudos to Caitlin for not taking the bait as she pretty much bypasses the question. She compliments LSU and congratulates them on the win.
There have been so many opinions on this and I would like to point something out, which may be considered a bit biased but... did Caitlin do this gesture (possibly) toward a Louisville player in the Elite 8 matchup? Yes. What I don't understand is how someone can't tell the difference between a quick 3-second chirp, in the middle of a game, and when someone follows you around the court for 15 seconds when the game is already over.
As LSU is about to win the national championship, the first thing Angel wanted to do was to get in Caitlin's face. Wouldn't she want to celebrate with her teammates and be proud of what they had just won? To follow someone around, with 15 seconds left, in a game that is over, is just weird and cringe-worthy.
I would also like to point out, I don't hate players chirping at each other in sports. It will always be a part of competing. If a player can use it to their advantage, so be it. If you don't want someone talking trash to you, shut them up by playing better than they are and win.
Talking to the opposing team during a game can help fire up the player and their team. Plus, it can make for exciting moments for the fans during the game and I'm fine with that. As long as that's where it ends. Once the game is pretty much over, it's time to celebrate with your team and be proud. There's no need to try and smack talk in someone's face once you've won.
It should be noted that after the game, Reese also spoke about this moment in the game and said Caitlin was a hell of a player. According to CNN, she said
Caitlin Clark is a hell of a player but I don’t take disrespect lightly. She disrespected (LSU’s) Alexis Morris and I wanted to pick her pocket. But I had a moment at the end of the game. I was in my moment.