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Angel Reese posts a cryptic message after losing to Caitlin Clark and fans rip her apart

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As many suspected it would, the NCAA rivalry between Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark has spilled over into the WNBA — confirmed with an intense game between Clark’s Indiana Fever and Reese’s Chicago Sky. But as it was in college, Reese has been subjected anew to online abuse following a tight game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

The latest controversy centers on an off-ball foul on Clark, a hard shove thrown by Sky guard Chennedy Carter late in the third quarter. Reese’s apparent support for the foul sent fans into a frenzy, especially after the Fever held on to win by a single point.

After the Fever’s 71-70 victory over the Sky on Saturday afternoon, Reese posted an unusual caption under a two-photo Instagram post which read “give yourself some grace. you’re doing great sweetie!” Fans quickly attacked Reese for the seemingly-innocuous post, many still upset that she stood up and applauded Carter’s shove on Clark.

 

Angel Reese

One fan commented that Reese and other Sky players should not seek to injure Clark, as she “pays your team’s salary” — a reference to the former Iowa star’s role in elevating the WNBA’s status in the North American sports league pecking order. Another said that Reese “showed her true colors” on Saturday, while another told her to “go back to LSU” and one more read “the jealousy has to stop, it’s obvious now.”

The Carter shoulder check — and Reese’s hyped reaction to it — comes amidst a debate over whether the WNBA is doing enough to protect Clark, the prized rookie whom many consider to be the future of the W and of women’s basketball itself. Fever coach Christie Sides and Clark herself feel the guard is getting “hammered” by opposing players. Hardcore WNBA fans believe refereeing in the league has not been at an acceptable standard for many years, and the Clark controversy further bolsters their case.

It remains to be seen what commissioner Cathy Engelbert, coming under scrutiny as the league embarks a new era, will do about an increasingly-fraught situation facing the nascent superstar Clark — or about the invective that continues to come Reese’s way.

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