Jill Biden's office walks back suggestion that NCAA women's runner-up also should get a White House visit
By The Citizen on April 4, 2023
The office of first lady Jill Biden is walking back her Monday suggestion that the Iowa Hawkeyes, the runner-ups of the NCAA Division I women’s basketball national championship game, should also get a White House visit.
“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,” press secretary Vanessa Valdivia wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.
“Her comments in Colorado were intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes,” Valdivia added. “She looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers on their championship win at the White House.”
Biden had come under criticism over her suggestion that both teams should be invited to the White House after Sunday’s contest.
“I know we’ll have the champions come to the White House, we always do. So, we hope LSU will come,” she said at the Colorado state capitol in Denver. “But, you know, I’m going to tell Joe I think Iowa should come, too, because they played such a good game.”
“If we lost would be invited? That’s all I’m asking,” Tigers guard Flau’jae Johnson wrote in a tweet.
Fellow guard Alexa Morris jokingly tweeted: “Michelle OBAMA can we (LSU NATIONAL CHAMPS) come celebrate our win at your house?”
LSU, led by second-year head coach and hall of famer Kim Mulkey, defeated Iowa 102-85, giving the school its first national championship in either its men’s or women’s basketball programs.
The game, which drew a record-breaking nearly 10 million viewers, made headlines over a moment between both teams’ star players, LSU forward Angel Reese and Iowa guard Caitlin Clark; Reese taunted Clark during the final seconds of the game with a “U Can’t See Me,” hand gesture, popularized by WWE legend John Cena, and also pointed at her ring finger, signifying her team’s championship victory.
“I’m too hood, I’m too ghetto. Y’all told me that all year. But when other people do it, y’all don’t say nothing,” Reese, who transferred to LSU from the University of Maryland, said in response to the incident. “So this is for the girls that look like me.”