On Wednesday, CNN reported that Angel Reese, the star player from NCAA women’s basketball champion Louisiana State University Tigers, said that neither she nor her teammates will visit the White House after First Lady Jill Biden suggested inviting both LSU and the losing team, the Iowa Hawkeyes.
While speaking at an event at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver on Monday, Mrs. Biden congratulated LSU and the Iowa Hawkeyes for their performance in Sunday’s NCAA women’s basketball national championship game.
The First Lady highlighted the sportsmanship of Iowa’s team, which lost the game 102 to 85. She said the White House will be hosting the champion team as they always do, then said she might suggest to her husband that the Iowa Hawkeyes should come to the White House as well “because they played such a good game.”
Jill’s casual remark prompted such a tidal wave of opposition on social media, including from LSU Tigers star player Angel Reese, that the first lady’s office was forced to walk back her comments.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Mrs. Biden’s press secretary Vanessa Valdivia said the first lady’s remarks were meant to “applaud the history game and all women athletes.” Valdivia said Mrs. Biden is looking forward to “celebrating the LSU Tigers” win at the White House.
During an interview on the podcast “I AM ATHLETE,” before the White House walked back Jill’s comment, Angel Reese said she would not accept an apology from Jill Biden for daring to invite the Iowa team. She suggested that the Iowa team can go ahead and visit the Biden White House while she and her team visit Barack and Michelle Obama.
Reese said in separate remarks that if LSU lost and Iowa won, Mrs. Biden would not have suggested inviting LSU to the White House.
However, the LSU athletics department said on Wednesday that they would accept the White House invitation.