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Angel Reese’s Emotional Outburst After Elite 8 Loss Induces Harsh Words From Ex-NFL Star: “Can’t Act Like Big Bad Wolf, Cry Like Courage the Cowardly Dog”

Published 04/03/2024, 2:14 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

The Lady Tigers are out of this year’s NCAA title contention race. After putting up a valiant effort, LSU crashed out in an epic Elite Eight battle against their last year’s national championship game counterparts Iowa. However, that was not the only reason why we witnessed a teary-eyed Angel Reese in the post-game press conference.

The All-American forward has been at the receiving end of vicious online abuse. While her teammates extended their support to the Bayou Barbie, others have a different take. Renowned American sports analyst and former NFL star Emmanuel Acho had a very critical view of Reese’s post-game antics.

Expressing himself on the talk show Speak alongside LeSean McCoy, Joy Taylor, and James Jones, he said, “Angel Reese, you can’t be the big bad wolf but kind of cry like courage the cowardly dog. Because if you want to act grown, if you wanna be paid like you’re grown, if you wanna talk to grown folks, if you wanna tell people to get your money up, then post-game when you get an L, you just gotta take it on the chin.” 

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A very uncharacteristic side of Reese was witnessed when she addressed the media after her loss. Unlike the unapologetic and brash attitude that she proudly flaunts, we see an emotional and sensitive Reese opening about the nasty trolling she’s been going through. Acho further added, “Nobody has sympathy for the villain. You painted the Bullseye on your back. Why are you surprised when people shoot at you? What frustrated me was that you wanna be the villain but you wanna hope for sympathy like a hero.”

However, Angel Reese’s teammates didn’t seem to agree with such thoughts.

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Flau’Jae Johnson and Hailey Van Lith get behind Angel Reese

There was no shortage of support from the LSU locker room for the three-time All-American. After hearing what Reese had to say, sophomore guard Flau’Jae Johnson came to her defense and said, “Everybody can have their opinion on Angel Reese, but y’all don’t know her. Y’all don’t know Angel Reese. I know Angel Reese. I know the real Angel Reese, and the person I see every day is a strong person, and is a caring, loving person. But the crown she wears is heavy.”

Meanwhile, LSU’s No.11 Hailey Van Lith described the talented No.10 as ‘one of the toughest people’ that she has been around. Van Lith also said that in spite of all the hate she’s getting, Reese shows up for practice every day; not letting anyone affect the way she wants to live.

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Despite the heavy criticism, there is no denying that Angel Reese is among the elites of college basketball. She may be disliked by some for the personality she carries, but there is no question about the immense talent that is behind it.

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Written by:

Shahryar Fazal

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One take at a time

Shahryar Fazal is a senior NBA writer at EssentiallySports. His specialisation lies in his scrupulous Live Coverage of the events like NCAA and WNBA tournaments. A former sportsman himself, Shahryar used to contribute stories for publishing houses like TOI before taking up American sports as his field of interest.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra