Jill Biden’s Suggestion of White House Invitation for NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Teams Sparks Controversy
The First Lady of the United States, Jill Biden, has caused a stir in the sports world after suggesting that both the NCAA women's basketball championship winner, LSU Tigers, and second-place Iowa Hawkeyes should be invited to the White House. However, her press secretary later clarified that her comments were intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes, and that she looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers on their championship win at the White House.
The suggestion of inviting both teams to the White House was met with mixed reactions, with some sports commentators and players criticizing the idea. LSU star Angel Reese called Biden's statement “A JOKE” on Twitter, while sports commentator Stephen A. Smith tweeted that it was a bad suggestion and that runners-up don't usually get invited to the White House.
LSU coach Kim Mulkey said after the team's victory that she would go to the White House if the team received an invitation. However, Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder tweeted that a day at the White House should belong solely to the champion, LSU, and that she would welcome the First Lady and President to come to Iowa's Carver-Hawkeye Arena any time.
The NCAA women's basketball championship game between LSU and Iowa drew a record-breaking average of 9.9 million viewers, making it the most-viewed women's college basketball game on record, according to ESPN. The game was the first women's NCAA final for both LSU and Iowa.
The controversy surrounding the White House invitation has overshadowed the impressive performance of both teams in the championship game and the progress of women's sports since the introduction of Title IX in 1972. Biden praised both teams on their performance and highlighted Iowa's sportsmanship during the game.
Amidst the controversy, the LSU Tigers celebrated their historic victory, with Reese tweeting “THAT'S THE TWEET” in response to teammate Alexis Morris' tweet asking former First Lady Michelle Obama if they could celebrate their win at her house.
Overall, the NCAA women's basketball championship game between LSU and Iowa was a historic moment for women's sports, but the controversy surrounding the White House invitation has highlighted the ongoing debate over how to recognize and celebrate the achievements of both winners and runners-up in sports.
0. “Angel Reese blasts Jill Biden’s comments about inviting Iowa and Caitlin Clark to White House alongsi…” Saturday Down South, 4 Apr. 2023, https://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/lsu-football/angel-reese-blasts-jill-bidens-comments-about-inviting-iowa-and-caitlin-clark-to-white-house-alongside-lsu/
1. “Iowa's Caitlin Clark says only LSU should visit White House: “I don't think runner-ups usually go to the White House”” CBS News, 4 Apr. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/caitlin-clark-iowa-white-house-visit-angel-reese-jill-biden/
2. “LSU’s Angel Reese calls Jill Biden’s comment about White House invite for Iowa ‘a joke’” The Athletic, 3 Apr. 2023, https://theathletic.com/4378821/2023/04/03/angel-reese-caitlin-clark-white-house-visit-reaction/
3. “LSU star Angel Reese laughs at Jill Biden's request to host Iowa at White House” Marca English, 4 Apr. 2023, https://www.marca.com/en/ncaa/2023/04/04/642baeb246163f47318b467b.html
4. “Bluder declines White House trip, invites Dr. Biden to Carver-Hawkeye Arena” WHO TV 13 Des Moines News & Weather, 4 Apr. 2023, https://who13.com/news/bluder-declines-white-house-trip-invites-dr-biden-to-carver-hawkeye-arena
5. “Iowa's Caitlin Clark says only LSU should visit White House” ESPN, 4 Apr. 2023, https://www.espn.com/womens-college-basketball/story/_/id/36069389/iowa-caitlin-clark-says-only-lsu-visit-white-house
6. “Angel Reese pushes back after Jill Biden suggests inviting LSU and runner-up Iowa to White House” NBC News, 4 Apr. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/angel-reese-pushes-back-jill-biden-suggests-inviting-lsu-runner-iowa-w-rcna78116
7. “Biden press secretary clarifies White House invitation is for LSU's women's team” NPR, 4 Apr. 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/04/04/1167965013/iowa-lsu-jill-biden-ncaa-basketball-championship