Not So Fast
White House backtracks on Jill Biden's invitation to winning and losing women's basketball teams
First lady Jill Biden's office backtracked Tuesday on her suggestion that both the winning and losing teams from the NCAA women's basketball championship should be hosted at the White House.
The first lady "loved watching the NCAA women's basketball championship game alongside young student-athletes and admires how far women have advanced in sports since the passing of Title IX," Vanessa Valdeeva, Biden's press secretary, tweeted, adding, "Her comments ... were intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes. She looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers on their championship."
Biden was on hand to watch Louisiana State University beat the University of Iowa to win their first national championship. Following the game, the first lady said during an event in Colorado, "I know we'll have the champions come to the White House, we always do. So, we hope LSU will come," The Associated Press reported. However, she then added, "You know, I'm going to tell Joe I think Iowa should come, too, because they played such a good game."
While it is standard for college and professional championship teams to get a day at the White House, the first lady's apparent invitation to Iowa caused a stir on social media, as ABC News noted that "the Biden administration has welcomed a host of sports champions to the White House — but never a runner-up team."
Angel Reese, a sophomore on the LSU basketball team, called Biden's comments "A JOKE."
Keith Boykin, a former White House aide with the Clinton administration, shared a similar sentiment. "No Ma'am! When Black women win a national championship, they should not be forced to share the stage with the losing team," he tweeted.
Following Valdeeva's statement, President Biden himself tweeted that he was looking forward to hosting LSU at the White House — with no mention of Iowa.