It was a historic year in women basketball this year. But the basketball season is ending with drama. When a sports team wins a title, either professional or college, the incentive is that they receive an invitation to the White House. However, with the most recent NCAA championship matchup between Iowa vs LSU, both teams were invited by First Lady Jill Biden to the White House.
Photo Cred: People.com
“I know we’ll have the champions come to the White House; we always do. So, we hope LSU will come,” First Lady Jill Biden says. “But, you know, I’m going to tell Joe I think Iowa should come, too, because they played such a good game.”
The statement by the first lady sparked controversy and talks surrounding the past. Social media was a frenzy after multiple LSU players and celebrities spoke up against what was said. Many were puzzled how a team who seemingly lost by 17 points would also receive an invitation. Immediately following the statement, LSU guards Angel Reese and Flau’jae Johnson took to Twitter to share their opinions and confusion.
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Reece tweeted, “A joke,” with a laughing emoji, and Johnson asked, “If we lost, would we be invited?
After mostly negative backlash on social media, the first lady’s press secretary, Vanessa Valdivia, spoke out in her defense, explaining her actions. “Her comments in Colorado were intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes. She looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers on their championship win at the White House.”
Photo Cred: New York Post
The following day, the first lady released a statement apologizing and inviting only LSU to the White House. However, according to LSU, the damage is done. Angel Reese spoke for her team, declining the apology by the first lady. Reese expressed her team would prefer to go to the Obamas’ house instead. Although the women’s basketball team has feelings about the trip, their athletic department accepts the invitation and states that LSU will be in attendance.