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The 2023 ESPYS - Show

Source: Gilbert Flores / Getty

Similar to actual games, when athletes win awards, someone else’s fans are always upset.

That happened again, thanks to last night’s airing of the 2023 ESPY Awards. Among the most controversial categories was Best Breakthrough Athlete, where nominees included Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, LSU’s Angel Reese, Seattle Mariner’s Julio Rodriguez, and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy.

Now, while court and field impact is arguable between these four athletes, the person whose popularity grew the most and introduced their name to people who aren’t even sports fanatics, it’s gotta be Angel Reese.

The LSU women’s basketball player rose to fame for her competitive edge and on-court spiciness against Caitlin Clark. Not only did she make the cocky hand-waving motion, but her team backed it up as they took home the Women’s National Championship.

After being presented the award by Hasan Minhaj, Reese was still talking a big game, and with one more year left at LSU, she wanted to repeat last year’s success.

“I just want to thank LSU … my family, my teammates, my coaches, Kim Mulkey, everybody that helped me. Last year I transferred from the University of Maryland and came to LSU and I just joined a family. So, I just want to say thank you, and another natty is coming. Period,” Reese said.

Social media, however, wasn’t too excited about Reese winning, given everyone else’s accomplishments in that category.

Iowa Hawkeye Clark was named McDonald’s All-American and became the first woman to lead D1 in scoring and rebounding during her sophomore year.

MLBer Rodriguez is currently dominating the baseball season as he became the fastest player in Mariners history to 30 home runs, and just days ago, on July 10, he broke the record for the most home runs during the home run derby.

Purdy was Mr. Irrelevant last year when he was chosen by the 49ers with the last pick in the 2022 draft, so the only way he could go is up. After Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo suffered injuries, he stepped up for his team. He became the first quarterback to beat Tom Brady in their debuts and was named the NFC’s Rookie of the Month for December and January. He also became the first 49ers rookie QB to start and win a playoff game, as he won his first six games in the league.

Reese definitely had some tough competition, but see how Twitter’s reacting to the award below.