LSU junior forward Angel Reese (10) led the Tigers with 18.6 points and 13.4 rebounds this season (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

While the popularity of women’s basketball has taken momentum in recent years, Misogynoir and double standards have also taken center stage throughout the NCAA Tournament.

Misogynoir is a term created by Northwestern University professor Moya Bailey which means to have prejudice against or contempt for Black women.

A prime example of this was when Los Angeles Times reporter Ben Bolch referred to the LSU women’s basketball team as “Dirty Debutantes” in a column about their Sweet 16 matchup against the UCLA Bruins.

The column also brought up how defending NCAA champion junior forward Angel Reese “taunted” Iowa senior guard Caitlin Clark during their championship game last year.

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“The leap that I took to my freshman to sophomore year, [Reese] gave me that confidence to go be a dog, playing next to a dog every day, just to see how the media ridicule her,” LSU sophomore guard Flau’jae Johnson. “The media, y’all, how they like to twist and call it a villain and all that, y’all don’t know [Reese].”

Several sexist and racist comments have been retracted from the original article and Bolch has since apologized but the sentiment will be hard to forget.

Reese led the Tigers with 18.6 points and 13.4 rebounds per game; this allowed the Tigers to reach the SEC championship game and the Elite Eight. In eight different matchups during the season, LSU scored in the triple digits.

Reese scored a season-high 28 points against the Queens Royals in November.

After helping the Tigers win the NCAA championship last season, Reese won Final Four Most Outstanding Player, Sporting News Athlete of the Year, BET Sportswomen of the Year, and an ESPY for Best Breakthrough Athlete.

Prior to the LSU Tigers battling the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Elite Eight this year, Reese addressed her use of trash talk and she had to explain that she and Clark “don’t hate each other.”

UCLA guard Kiki Rice (1) drives against LSU guard Flau’jae Johnson (4) during the third quarter of a Sweet Sixteen round college basketball game during the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

“I don’t think people realize it’s not personal once we get out between those lines,” Reese said. “It’s just a super competitive game. I just wish people would realize that.  Once I get between those lines, there’s no friends.  I have plenty of friends on the court that I talk to outside of the game.”

Reese having to answer for her trash talking and her relationship with Clark is Misogynoir. Trash talk and general misconduct is either ignored or praised in men’s sports but is seen as negative in women’s sports.

After the L.A. Clippers 108-107 win over the Philadelphia 76er’s, forward Kelly Oubre Jr. ranted at the officials of the game using expletive language.

“You’re a b****,” he appeared to repeat to each referee.

While there was controversy, the main focus was on the lack of foul calls instead of his unsportsmanlike conduct towards the referees.

When the Dallas Cowboys battled the San Francisco 49ers in week five of the 2023 NFL season, tight end George Kittle revealed he was wearing a “F*** Dallas” shirt under his uniform and displayed it to the crowd.

Just imagine if Reese did something as immature as what these two veteran professional athletes did. How much backlash would she get and how many times would the media bring up her actions?

“I think [Reese] is one of the toughest people I’ve been around.  People speak hate into her life,” said LSU grad student guard Hailey Van Lith. “I’ve never seen people wish bad things on someone as much as her, and it does not affect her.”

This is the second year in a row where the athletic talents and skills of Reese have been unvalued to demonize her innocuous conduct during games.