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LSU's Angel Reese: 'I've been sexualized, I've been threatened'

As her senior season came to an end after Monday's loss to Iowa, Reese addressed critics, saying she has been sexualized and received death threats.
LSU's Angel Reese: 'I've been sexualized, I've been threatened'
Posted at 11:46 AM, Apr 02, 2024

LSU star forward Angel Reese was in tears after her team's Elite Eight loss to Iowa on Monday. While reflecting on the game during a press conference, Reese didn't hold back when also responding to criticism she and her teammates have faced during the Tigers' deep tournament run.

"I don't really get to stand up for myself. I mean, I have great teammates. I have a great support system. I've got my hometown. I've got my family that stands up for me. I don't really get to speak out on things because I just ignore. I just try to stand strong," Reese said. "I've been through so much. I've seen so much. I've been attacked so many times, death threats, I've been sexualized, I've been threatened, I've been so many things, and I've stood strong every single time."

Over the weekend, a highly publicized story profiling LSU coach Kim Mulkey was published in the Washington Post. Mulkey said prior to the story's publication that she would sue if the story contained false information. 

The Washington Post story came out just as a column in the Los Angeles Times contained sexualized language the paper later admitted "was inappropriate and offensive." Columnist Ben Bolch apologized for the column as the paper edited the story.

SEE MORE: Shorthanded UConn returns to Women's Final Four, will face Iowa

"As a journalist, no one should know this more than me. Yet I have failed miserably in my choice of words. In my column previewing the LSU-UCLA women's basketball game, I tried to be clever in my phrasing about one team's attitude, using alliteration while not understanding the deeply offensive connotation or associations. I also used metaphors that were not appropriate," Bolch said. "Our society has had to deal with so many layers of misogyny, racism and negativity that I can now see why the words I used were wrong. It was not my intent to be hurtful, but I now understand that I terribly missed the mark."

Reese's teammates came to her defense following Monday's game. 

"I think Angel is one of the toughest people I've been around. People speak hate into her life. I've never seen people wish bad things on someone as much as her, and it does not affect her. She comes to practice every day. She lives her life every day. She lives how she wants to live, and she don't let nobody change that," LSU's Hailey Van Lith said. 

Reese said despite all of the negative press and attention she and her team have gotten, she "wouldn't change anything."

"I would still sit here and say I'm unapologetically me," Reese said.  I'm going to always leave that mark and be who I am and stand on that. And hopefully the little girls that look up to me, and hopefully I give them some type of inspiration that know hopefully it's not this hard and all the things that come at you, but keep being who you are, keep waking up every day, keep being motivated, staying who you are, stand ten toes, don't back down, and just be confident."

Reese now has to decide what to do with her career. Despite being a college senior, she could come back for a fifth year as the NCAA granted an additional year of eligibility during the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19. 

If Reese declares for the WNBA Draft, she would likely be one of the top picks. But with players now able to profit off their name, image and likeness in the NCAA, she may return and take advantage of endorsement deals. 

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