Still talking about Angel Reese? It’s time to move on!

The gestures that Angel Reese did during the NCAA Women’s Championship game are still being talked about and debated, and unfortunately it has overshadowed an amazing game by two talented teams. I’m not going to insert my opinion over whether it was wrong or right because it seems like a moot point; it’s done and over with. What I will insert my opinion about is the continuous opinions of people old enough to be her parents or grandparents.

At 51 years young, I still remember some of my actions when I was Angel Reese’s age and I’m glad that I didn’t have millions of people criticizing my actions and offering their unsolicited opinions. At 20, though mature, I wasn’t nearly the adult that I am today and I don’t expect that from anyone who isn’t old enough to drink legally in the United States. However, I keep seeing commentary from “older adults” who don’t look like they’ve ever participated in a sport professionally or for fun, shame a young adult over “trash talking/mocking gestures” during a very competitive sport, let alone a championship.

I could understand it if Reese was racially or ethnically racist towards her opponents, made fun of a disability, etc., but she made a gesture, a simple gesture. Not to mention it was in response to one of her opponents doing the same gesture towards Reese’s team earlier in the game. When it’s mentioned, it’s brief and lacks the passion that’s attached to the comments associated with Reese. I also believe if Reese had taken “the higher road” as many people expected, nothing would be said about her opponents behavior.
Muhammad Ali, arguably one of the greatest professional athletes of all times, was probably the Grand Wizard of talking trash to his opponents. Many athletes say that you can win the game before it starts, if you can get into your opponents heads first. I’ve watched soccer matches where black athletes had to endure racial slurs from their opponents and from attendees in the stadium, and those incidents received far less press coverage than this incident.
For those on their soap boxes preaching, have you thought about your delivery and the words you choose to direct towards this young woman. Are they helpful or condemning? I would have hoped that the older people who have so much to say, present it in a respectful and welcoming manner so that perhaps she or others her age can potentially learn something. Instead, they’re subjected to disrespectful rhetoric where it’s challenging to find the good in their message, if there was any to begin with.
Whether or not I agree with her, I respect her for standing her ground on her views as well as explaining her thought process to those who were so quick to judge her. The Bayou Barbie; she did this for the little girls who look like her. They now have a powerful voice and ally.