Reese held up her white jersey and held it like a banner across the room. “FLOTUS” is written on the back and a large purple “46” is embroidered with yellow stitches.
Taller than her usual 6-foot-3 and wearing teepee heels, Reese bent down halfway to hug Jill, who stands at 5-foot-5, and the applause turned into a chorus of “Wow!”
Reese’s actions were of significant help to the sports-loving First Lady, who was embroiled in a rare political turmoil.
The first lady committed a technical foul last month when she suggested: The Iowa Hawkeyes, who LSU thrashed in their title fight, could have still earned an invitation to the White House. “I know I bring the champions to the White House, and I always do,” she said in impromptu remarks after the game. “So I hope LSU will come. But I’m going to tell Joe I think Iowa should come too, because Iowa played so well.” Rejected lease obtained The First Lady’s eagerness to reward both sides. “You’re kidding” Reese tweeted In response to Mr. Biden’s proposal.
Jill Biden’s gaffe on women’s basketball and its endless aftermath
The Lady Tigers were wary of Biden’s White House even before the First Lady’s postgame gaffe. LSU turned down Jill Biden’s offer to visit the locker room before the championship game because President Biden’s March Madness slot didn’t satisfy the potential of the underdog, Reese said. (“He didn’t even put us in the bracket to get out of Baton Rouge,” she said.) Iowa, a mostly white team, was also more favorable than the mostly black LSU. There was also an impression that it was picked up by the media. team—particularly criticism of Reese for using the same provocative gesture used by one of his White Iowa opponents in an earlier game. In that context, the First Lady’s spontaneous idea to celebrate both teams exacerbated the underlying contempt. Reese “If You Lose” later said “We won’t be invited to the White House,” he said on a podcast.
White House I panicked and went back to defense. A spokeswoman for the first lady said Biden’s comments were meant to “celebrate the historic game” and recognize “how much progress women have made in sports since the enactment of Title IX.” Stated. By Friday that week, President Biden took the unusual step of calling Ms. Reese privately to congratulate her on her victory. Reese eventually agreed to attend the ceremony, which she had not agreed to before delving deeper. “I’m going to the Obamas,” she said on the podcast. “I’m going to see Michelle. I’m going to see Barack.”
awkward! But it’s not unprecedented. These days, the Obama family has become a haven for sports champions who haven’t been impressed by recent White House residents. Receptions for America’s sports champions have been especially difficult during President Donald Trump’s presidency. Few teams accepted Trump’s invitation to celebrate together. Some did not receive invitations, others were revoked. (The 2017 Super Bowl winning team, the Philadelphia Eagles, held the event on the White House lawn after some players objected to the president’s criticism of the players for kneeling during the national anthem.) The Golden State Warriors, two-time NBA champions under President Trump, declined the chance to celebrate at the White House, instead opting for a “Celebration of America” party. I met with President Obama.
44th president Although he spent most of his high school hoop career as a benchwarmer, he still played pick-up games against some of the NBA’s biggest stars on his 50th birthday. Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Chris Paul. (Not that some athletes didn’t ignore him, of course. Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Matt Burke protested President Obama’s position on abortion rights at the 2013 Super Bowl. While refusing to join the team celebrating the championship, Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, a die-hard Tea Party conservative, refused the team’s visit to the 2012 Stanley Cup.)
Championship celebration is not lost
It’s politically old-fashioned under a Biden administration, but that’s because the players’ politics are more in line with Biden’s. For example, when the Milwaukee Bucks visited the White House to celebrate their 2021 NBA championship title, Biden rallied across the league to protest the 2020 police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Thank you for prompting the closure of During a championship visit earlier this year, the Golden State Warriors held a roundtable on gun violence, an issue that hits head coach Steve Kerr. Politico said many professional and college sports teams weren’t invited to the championship gala.
But despite everything, the Lady Tigers were here. The First Lady was the first to speak, approaching the lectern in a suit that was the same shade of LSU’s signature purple. “I’m always thinking about how far women’s sports have come,” Jill Biden echoed a comment she made in the aftermath of her first failure. She said, “When I watched it, I felt the history of that moment. I felt the history of all the women who have acted boldly and violently, ignored criticism and just played.”
She did not address any of her earlier remarks or criticism of Reese. Instead, she praised Reese for breaking the major record and said of the team, “I see the best of the best in this room.”
Vice President Harris commended the players for their behavior on and off the court. “You represent your teammates, school and community with dignity and respect,” she said. “You showed the world who you are. You guys are leaders and role models.”
Reese stood squarely into the front row crowd among his teammates crowding the risers like church choirs. She wore a tight smile, politely clapped golf at every round of applause, and showed her best enthusiasm when she was complimented by the president for driving up ticket prices. “Ticket prices have increased tenfold,” he says. “And more than the men’s game.”
The only moment of drama: when one of LSU’s freshman forwards fainted onstage and fell on top of a teammate before crashing to the floor. “We leave a mark wherever we go,” joked LSU head coach Kim Malkey, assuring the crowd that her players would be fine. (About 20 minutes after the ceremony ended, several paramedics rolled the stretcher into the White House.)
Near the end of his remarks, President Biden lamented that 95 percent of sports articles are still written about male athletes. “But it doesn’t matter here. It doesn’t matter with this team,” he said with a laugh. Reese smiled knowingly as quiet laughter filled the room.