Alyssa Thomas’ flagrant-2 foul against Angel Reese has the WNBA fanbase reacting with strong opinions. The league is witnessing a noteworthy rise this season, and fan interest is leading to more social media conversations. Saturday’s game between the Connecticut Sun and Chicago Sky featured Thomas decking Reese and being ejected in the fourth quarter.

The slow-motion replay confirmed that Thomas’ hand pivoted towards Reese’s neck and caused her to take a rough fall. The veteran was ejected, but the Sun still managed to pull off an 86-82 victory to remain undefeated. Reese told the media that she understood the play and didn’t take offense to it.

“It’s not just because I’m a rookie,” Reese said. “I’m a player. I’m a basketball player.”

However, social media fans chimed in with polarizing opinions about the play. Accusations of “dirty plays” will always see strong opinions about what goes down on a basketball court. NBA players, like Grayson Allen and Patrick Beverley, were involved in past conversations for having multiple questionable plays, creating skepticism over their intent.

One fan felt some opinions come from new WNBA fans wanting to make broader points about the incident representing how Black women treat each other:

“Unpopular opinion: Alyssa Thomas throwing Angel Reese down on the court is exactly how older black women treat younger black women in many industries both professional and personal… It’s not tough love, it’s envy.”

Thomas finished second in WNBA MVP voting last season to validate her status as one of the premier players in the league. The 32-year-old veteran even finished above A’ja Wilson in voting and her status as a top player makes the play more fascinating. Reese took it better than fans who felt Thomas crossed a line.

“Alyssa Thomas hands down the dirtiest player in the league… someone from Chicago had to step up to that cause that’s wildly dangerous. Should be a multi game suspension,” one reacted.

Thomas may risk developing a terrible reputation, as seen with fans bringing up other plays.

“Back to back incidents. This was the result of Angel Reese having Alyssa Thomas mad and frustrated the whole game,” one wrote.

Another interesting talking point saw fans viewing this all as a sign that Angel Reese is already becoming an impact player in the WNBA. Reese was making it a tough night for Thomas and proving she could compete at the highest level against a top-tier performer. Julia Pope of the Chicago Tribune referenced that and made it clear that the Sky home crowd was fully supporting the rookie superstar.

A popular Chicago Bulls fan page also spoke in defense of the Sky’s Reese:

“Alyssa Thomas should be totally embarrassed on what she did to Angel Reese.”

Another user referenced that Reese grew up admiring Thomas as a legendary college player:

“There is some irony to this whole thing as Angel Reese was telling media before the game how she grew up admiring Alyssa Thomas as a Maryland legend.”

Angel Reese vs. Caitlin Clark’s rivalry leads to constant comparisons

Social media users started bringing Caitlin Clark into the conversation for another path from this story. Clark enduring some hard fouls and taking rough screens created a discussion about Clark getting harshly welcomed to the league. Sports analyst Jemele Hill brought up that Reese took a harder blow and welcomed that level of competition with poise:

“Even though there won’t be a stream of male analysts and fans saying Angel Reese should be given special protection, despite her also being a big draw in the WNBA, Angel Reese is a fierce competitor who gets it.”

Another user agreed with Hill’s implication while praising Reese.

Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark constantly draw comparisons as the two rookie stars who helped bring extra attention to the WNBA from their college rivalry. Thomas put Reese back in the news by taking her down and inspiring the conversations.

Reese comes away as the winner in most talking points since she held her own and made a premiere MVP candidate lose her cool.

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