Darren Sammy said "wonderful, young and beautiful" West Indies have been driven by an insulting claim that they are "short of brains" in their quest for a second World Twenty20 title.
Journalist and former batsman Mark Nicholas riled the Windies with that jibe when assessing their chances of regaining their title in India before the tournament.
West Indies have responded by marching into the final, beating the hosts in a thriller on Thursday to set up a showdown with England at Eden Gardens on Sunday.
Sammy said his side have become accustomed to being written off, but the Windies captain believes Nicholas crossed the line.
The all-rounder said: "How could you describe people with no brains? Animals have got brains.
"We are not an object and to me that particular comment really set it off for us. You could see me talking about it and it's kind of emotional, for somebody who I respect and I've always had a good rapport with that particular journalist.
"To describe our team, which two years ago were defending champions, as guys with no brains is really out of order. God doesn't love the ordinary; we are wonderful, young beautiful men. That's why we play exciting cricket.
"So for us, all these things that happen before the tournament - that's the drive, the passion and determination we feel."
The Windies have had to contend with cricket politics, which have led to the Test side struggling to compete.
Sammy feels the T20 team deserves more credit for their exploits which have come in a difficult period for the game in the Caribbean.
He added: "People just paint us as money-grabbing cricketers because of our success in T20 cricket, but yet still they don't respect us in that format."