“Death Threats, I’ve Been S*xualised”: Teary Eyed Angel Reese Breaks Down Over Unjust Struggles After Elite 8 Exit

Published 04/01/2024, 10:59 PM EDT

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After that 2023 faceoff, fans were looking forward to LSU and Iowa meeting in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. Unexpectedly, Angel Reese and the Tigers were eliminated in the Elite Eight phase after suffering a 94-87 loss to the Hawkeyes. Ever since Reese taunted Caitlin Clark with the ‘You Can’t See Me’ gesture during last year’s Championship Game, she has become a part of continuous criticism. This time, online trolls are attacking her for losing and taking unwarranted pleasure in bringing her down.

In a post-game conference, an emotional Reese honestly laid out what she’d been going through when she was the reigning champ. “I’ve been attacked so many times. Death threats, I’ve been s*xualized, I’ve been threatened. I’ve been so many things, and I’ve stood strong every single time, and I just try to stand strong for my teammates because I don’t want them to see me down and, like, not be there for them. So, I just want them to always just now, like, I’m still a human.

She exposed the reality of the scrutiny young athletes are subjected to when she said, “All this has happened since I won the National Championship and I haven’t been happy since then.


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Reese had 17 points along with 20 rebounds and 4 assists on the night. Clark alone had 41 points in this game. While there have been many instances of both rivals hyping each other’s individual accomplishments, social media has been more invested in their rivalry. They’ve been compared to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson’s rivalry from the NCAA to the NBA since their 2023 clash. Most of the commentary on them has been unkind.

While Clark’s scoring record has been questioned, Reese has been trolled for her unexplained absence in the early season. Following this Elite Eight elimination, fans are upping the online pressure to put her WNBA aspirations on hold. Clark is projected as the first pick for the 2024 class but Reese is also expected to be a lottery pick. Yet many want her to play a fifth season at LSU and reclaim the title. Amid all the commentary she is subjected to, Reese at least has her team by her side.

Angel Reese’s teammates slam critics


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When Reese returned from her unexplained absence, she credited her mentor/’uncle’/LSU legend, Shaquille O’Neal for sound advice on dealing with the trolls. She’s following his advice now too and relying on her teammates. In this post-game presser, Flau’jae Johnson and Hailey Van Lith show that the most.


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Johnson emphatically asserted that critics don’t know Angel Reese. “I know the real Angel Reese and the person I see every day is a strong person, is a caring, loving person.” She touted her as a teammate that makes everyone believe her.


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Van Lith also passionately defended Reese and confidently stated that the criticism won’t bring the Bayou Barbie down. Perhaps that’s why LSU fans don’t see another shot at the title without Reese. But this presser gave food for thought about the harsh reality young athletes are subjected to.


Written by:

Caroline John


One take at a time

Caroline John is a senior NBA writer at EssentiallySports. She holds a Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from a reputed university. With 8 years of experience in content writing and after judiciously covering the life of Shaquille O’Neal, she even earned an exclusive interview with the CEO of Shaq’s Big Chicken franchise, Josh Halpern.
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Edited by:

Pragya Vashisth