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Adia Barnes not apologizing for giving passionate speech after Arizona’s win over UConn


Arizona v Connecticut Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Arizona women’s basketball coach Adia Barnes had a viral moment after Arizona upset top-seeded UConn on Friday, flashing two middle fingers and dropping an expletive while giving a passionate speech to her team.

She was telling her players to, in PG terms, forget about the skeptics who doubted that they could reach the national championship game.

It fired up her team but also drew some criticism from people who think the gesture is a bad look for her and the University of Arizona.

Barnes said she isn’t going to apologize for it. She was just being herself.

“I just do what I feel, I guess, which is good and bad,” she said. “Because you saw the end of the game, I honestly had a moment with my team and I thought it was like a more intimate huddle. And I said to my team something that I truly felt and I know they felt and it just like appeared different on TV. But I’m not apologizing for it. Because I don’t feel like I need to apologize. It’s what I felt with my team at the moment. And I wouldn’t take it back. We’ve gone to war together. We look around the room and we looked around the circle, we believe in each other. So I’m in those moments. And that’s how I am, so I don’t apologize for doing that. I’m just me and I have to just be me.”

Besides, that authenticity is one of the reasons Barnes has been able to lead the Wildcats to the national championship game. She gets the most out of her players.

“We feed off Coach Barnes’ energy,” star guard Aari McDonald said. “With her laughing, cracking jokes on the side, it makes us even be more loose. Coach is not uptight at all. She’s like, ‘have fun, keep on smiling.’ Her rubs off on us. It’s contagious.”