News and Commentary

WNBA Championship Team Announces They Won’t Visit White House — But They Haven’t Even Been Invited!

In case you missed the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) championship last week, the Seattle Storm beat the Washington Mystics 98-82.

After the game, Storm point guard Sue Bird said the team would decline an invitation to the White House should one be offered.

“At this point does it even need to be discussed?” said Bird, a 17-year veteran, according to The Seattle Times. “It’s come up. We pay attention to what happened with Minnesota and not getting invited. … We all pay attention to what’s going on.”

But then she said, “It’s a huge disappointment. [It] used to be something that’s really special and something that was an honor and you look forward to.”

Hmm. So you’d look forward to being invited and then going to the White House, but you’re declaring that you wouldn’t accept an invitation? Yeah, OK.

Such is the liberal hatred for Trump. Last year, after winning the WNBA championship, the Minnesota Lynx was not invited to the White House, but came to D.C. to hand out shoes to low-income children. Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said they weren’t invited because Trump hates women.

“It’s hard not to think that gender is playing a role here because of the consistency with which men’s teams are being invited and celebrated,” Reeve said, The Washington Post reported. “I think it reflects the priorities of this particular administration.”

Trump has hosted several professional and collegiate teams since taking office, including the 2017 Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, the World Series champion Houston Astros and Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins. But then, teams began to get hyper-political. Trump withdrew an invitation to the 2017 NBA champion Golden State Warriors when star Stephen Curry said the team wouldn’t accept.

This year, Trump did not invite the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles after many players said they wouldn’t go. What’s more, after both NCAA champions in 2017 — the South Carolina women’s team and North Carolina men’s team — declined White House invitations in 2017, neither 2018 NCAA champion was invited.

But Bird did go to the White House in 2010 when the Storm won the WNBA championship. “I’ve been really fortunate to go, and it’s exciting,” she said. “You’re going to the White House. I remember first walking into the room to meet President Obama and the aura… it’s insane.”

“Now, that’s not the case anymore. It doesn’t feel exciting. Nobody wants to go. It’s totally changed. And that’s disappointing because it used to be, like I said, something that most athletes would look forward to,” Bird said.

So, they’ll go if they agree with the president. Well, maybe they can be invited back in 2025. Assuming they will accept an invitation from President Pence.