A passing remark by First Lady Jill Biden got the White House in hot water this week, forcing the First Lady’s office to clarify her comments, CNN reported.
On Monday, while speaking at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, the first lady took a moment to congratulate the Louisiana State University Tigers and the University of Iowa Hawkeyes for their performance in the NCAA women’s basketball national championship game on Sunday.
The LSU Tigers defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 102 to 85.
The First Lady lauded the sportsmanship of the Iowa team and said while President Biden will be inviting the winning LSU Tigers, she just might suggest that he also invite the Hawkeyes since “they played such a good game.”
The off-handed remark set off a firestorm of outrage, including from LSU Tigers star player Angel Reese who blasted the first lady for her suggestion.
While being interviewed on the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast, Reese was so miffed over Jill’s off-handed invite to the losing team that she said she would never accept any apology from Mrs. Biden. Reese suggested that Mrs. Biden is welcome to invite the Iowa Hawkeyes to the White House while she and the rest of the LSU Tigers visit former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.
In separate remarks, Reese hinted that Jill Biden’s suggestion was somehow racist, noting that the first lady would not extend an invitation to the losing team if the Iowa Hawkeyes won and LSU lost.
The unexpected blowback forced the first lady’s office to clarify Jill’s remarks.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the first lady’s press secretary Vanessa Valdivia said Mrs. Biden only intended to “applaud the history game and all women athletes.” She added that Mrs. Biden is looking forward to “celebrating the LSU Tigers” win at the White House.
An unsatisfied Angel Reese insisted that neither she nor the rest of her team would be visiting the White House if they are invited. However, the LSU athletics department said on Wednesday that they would happily accept the White House invitation.