Chris Broussard on Angel Reese Credit: First Things First on Fox Sports 1

The LSU women’s basketball team that just lost to Caitlin Clark and Iowa in the Elite Eight is both dominant and polarizing. But the perception around the group took a different turn Monday night. Star post player Angel Reese opened up after the loss about how she has been sexualized, received death threats and more since LSU won the 2023 national championship.

Reacting to her comments on Tuesday, First Things First host Chris Broussard called out “racism” and “sexism” from fans and media toward Reese.

“Winning the national championship should be one of the highlights of her life … it’s just terrible, it’s heart-wrenching,” Broussard said. “People were jumping all over her, and saying nothing about Caitlin Clark. That was racism, and I think it was classism too because if she was some suburban Black girl who was acting differently, I don’t know if people would be on her as much.”

Broussard then pointed out the Los Angeles Times column from Ben Bolch (which Bolch apologized for) that featured allusions to sex and sharp criticism of Reese and her teammates as the most recent example.

Broussard added that when he was a reporter and columnist, he tried to stay away from direct or personal criticisms of college athletes because they are not professionals.

From there, the First Things First crew dove into a deep discussion of social media, the lack of regulation around it, and how conversation online affects people’s mental health.

“The stuff that Angel Reese has to deal with on her phone is 100x worse than (the Times article), and there’s no one there saying, ‘that’s out of bounds,'” anchor Kevin Wildes said.

A segment on First Things First is certainly not going to change the media industry or internet regulations. But Reese’s openness and courage to speak about her experience inspired discussion on major platforms about how she is covered and what athletes face online.

To Broussard’s point, these external forces are only more ugly and difficult for Black women athletes who are outspoken and competitive like Reese.

[First Things First]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.