The Minnesota Lynx, a WNBA team, won their fourth championship in seven years, and are still waiting for an invitation to visit President Trump at the White House.
Lynx’s head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeves said that their lack of the invitation is an indication of how the White House views women in general.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Reeves said, “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. I think it reflects the priorities of this particular administration.”
Re White House:
1) President’s have recognized WNBA Champs dating back to Houston Comets
2) Golden State, UNC MBB, Bama Fball, Astros received an invite/visited within months of ‘ship.
3) Womens collegiate champs lumped together in 1 ceremony
4) WNBA Champs = no invite https://t.co/qBtkmXQciw
— Cheryl Reeve (@LynxCoachReeve) May 3, 2018
In an interview on the Sports Media Podcast on Wednesday, she said that President Obama contacted the team almost immediately to congratulate them and said an invitation would be offered at a later date after their championships in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
As Reeve pointed out, in 2017, the White House honored multiple women’s collegiate champions together instead of following the previous model of honoring each team individually. The South Carolina women’s basketball team won the NCAA Tournament, but declined the invitation.
WNBA champions have visited the White House almost since the league’s inception dating back to 2000 when the Houston Comets, a team no longer in the league, visited President Clinton.
Championship teams have been visiting the sitting president in the White House for about three decades, but in the Trump administration it has become a source of political controversy.
The Clemson Tigers football team (2017), North Carolina men’s basketball team (2017), New England Patriots (2017), Houston Astros (2018), and the University of Alabama’s football team (2018) have all visited Trump. The Golden State Warriors had their invitation rescinded by the president after superstar Steph Curry said he wasn’t sure if he was planning on going.
The Philadelphia Eagles have yet to collectively accept or decline an invitation, although individual players have already said they will not be in attendance if the offer is extended.