Caitlin Clark Believes Trash Talk ‘Makes The Game Fun’ And Angel Reese Doesn’t Deserve Criticism

The 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship Game was the most viewed women’s title game of all-time, with Angel Reese’s LSU team taking down Caitlin Clark and Iowa in a dominant showing in Dallas.

LSU piled up 102 points on Iowa, with Jasmine Carson, Alexis Morris, and LaDazhia Williams all putting forth incredible showings alongside another double-double from Reese, but after the game the conversation was about everything but the action on the court, most notably Reese’s celebration in which she mocked Clark by returning the “You Can’t See Me” taunt Clark had used earlier in the tournament. Reese’s trash talk became fodder for some on Twitter, like Keith Olbermann, to criticize her and call her “classless,” leading to others defending her and ripping those coming after her for the double standard of how Black players are treated for showing emotion and trash talking compared to white players.

What made it all incredibly strange is that Clark herself never seemed to care about Reese’s taunts, joining ESPN’s Outside The Lines on Tuesday to clear the air and make sure she noted publicly that she liked the trash talk, saying it makes the game fun, and outright saying Reese doesn’t deserve any criticism for being a competitor.

Clark also addressed the Jill Biden proposal of inviting Iowa to the White House alongside LSU, which the White House quickly walked back on Tuesday morning, noting that trip should be reserved for the winners and that she hopes LSU has a great trip and Iowa shouldn’t be involved.

That all of this falls on Clark to explain is fairly sad. She never should’ve had to explain any of this to anyone — both the trash talking point and the White House visit point — but her note about how trash talk is rarely discussed in this way in men’s sports is particularly salient. Athletes in women’s sports are often expected to be much quieter and friendlier on the court than their male counterparts, and Clark is right that it’s good to see women getting to show this kind of emotion and competitive fire on the court. Hopefully the takeaway can be how that’s a good thing for the women’s game, rather than the few loud voices whining about it.