A teary Angel Reese reminded everyone she’s just human as teammates passionately defended her

One of the harder parts of playing sports in front of the national audience is dealing with the attention from fans, media and beyond.

After the LSU women’s basketball team fell to Iowa in the Elite Eight round on Monday night, two of the team’s best players delivered powerful reminders to all willing to listen about the very real human cost of visibility.

Angel Reese and Flau’Jae Johnson both talked about the negative attention that the program, and Reese in particular, have received since the team won the 2023 women’s NCAA national championship.

Reese was moved to tears during both moments, as she reminded her critics that she’s human and detailed some of the hardships she has faced since becoming a national figure.

“I’ve been through so much; I’ve seen so much,” an emotional Reese told reporters after the game. “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, and I just try to stand strong for my teammates because I don’t want them to see me down and, like, not be there for them. So, I just want them to always just now, like, I’m still a human.”

Johnson provided a similarly stirring defense of Reese amid any outside criticism, talking about what a role model she is for her teammates. Her words also made Reese quite emotional.

“Y’all don’t know Angel Reese,” Johnson said. “I know the real Angel Reese, and the person I see every day is a strong person, is a caring, loving person… The crown she [wears] is heavy… She’s the type of teammate that’s going to make you believe in yourself.”

Van Lith also vigorously defended Reese, saying that any hate was not going to get to her.

It’s always an important reminder that we always engage with athletes, especially those playing at the collegiate level, with empathy and respect, as nothing that happens on the court is as important as how those who play are treated away from the game.

It’s clear that LSU has Reese’s back, and you can only hope more people will heed this message and treat all of these athletes with care and class.

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A teary Angel Reese reminded everyone she’s just human as teammates passionately defended her

Author: Cory Woodroof

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