(The Hill) – Louisiana State University (LSU) star forward Angel Reese called out first lady Jill Biden’s “apology” after initially suggesting that the Iowa Hawkeyes, the runner-ups of the NCAA Division I women’s basketball national championship game, should also get a White House visit.
“If we were to lose, we would not be getting invited to the White House,” Reese said. “I remember she made a comment about both teams should be invited because it’s sportsmanship. And I’m like, ‘Are you saying that stuff because of what I did?’ Stuff like that, it bothers me,” Resse said during an appearance on the “I Am Athlete’s “Paper Route” podcast published Tuesday.
“You are a woman at the end of the day and you’re supposed to be standing behind us before anything.”
Reese also told co-hosts Brandon Marshall and Ashley Nicole Moss that her team refused to meet with the first lady before the championship game, noting their dissatisfaction that her husband, President Biden, had chosen LSU to lose in the second round of the tournament, having his wife’s alma mater, Villanova University, winning the tournament.
“I don’t accept the (apology), I said what I said. You can’t go back on certain things that you say. I mean, you felt like they should’ve came because of sportsmanship, right? They can have that spotlight,” Reese added. “We’ll go to the Obamas. We’ll see Michelle.”
Reese’s comments came after Jill Biden, who was in attendance at the championship game, suggesting that both teams should be invited to the White House while speaking at an event in Denver on Monday.
After receiving criticism over her suggestion, Biden’s office walked back her suggestion the following day, saying that her comments “were intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes,” adding the first lady is excited to celebrate with LSU at the White House.
LSU, led by second-year head coach and hall-of-famer Kim Mulkey, defeated Iowa 102-85 on Sunday, giving the school its first national championship in either its men’s or women’s basketball programs.
The game, which drew a record-breaking nearly 10 million viewers, made headlines over a moment between Reese and Iowa guard Caitlin Clark. Reese taunted Clark during the final seconds of the game with a “U Can’t See Me” hand gesture, popularized by WWE legend John Cena, and also pointed at her ring finger, signifying her team’s championship victory.
Resse, a Baltimore County, native, received massive attention for her taunting gesture toward Clark, with some referring to Reese’s gesture as “classless” and others defending Reese, saying that taunting your opponent is a part of competitive sports.
“I’m too hood. I’m too ghetto. Y’all told me that all year. But when other people do it, y’all don’t say nothing,” Reese said in response to the incident, noting that she and her LSU teammates didn’t like the disrespect Clark was showing to their Southeastern Conference (SEC) rival.
“So this is for the girls that look like me,” Reese said.
Clark, who had several “taunting” moments of her own throughout the tournament, later defended Reese, saying she shouldn’t have been criticized for the moment.
“So I don’t think Angel should be criticized at all, you know, no matter which way it goes, you know, she should never be criticized for what she did,” Clark said during an appearance on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” Tuesday when asked if race was a factor in the backlash to Reese.
“You know, I’m just one that competes and she competed…I think everybody knew there was gonna be a little trash talk in the entire tournament. It’s not just me and Angel,” Clark added, calling herself a “big fan” of Reese.