First Lady Jill Biden made waves on Monday when she announced that she would like to invite both women’s NCAA basketball finalists to the White House, according to ESPN.
The first lady claimed that she appreciated the Iowa team’s sportsmanship and thought both teams performed well on the game’s biggest stage. “I know we’ll have the champions come to the White House, we always do. So, we hope LSU will come,” she said, according to ESPN. “But, you know, I’m going to tell Joe I think Iowa should come, too, because they played such a good game.” (RELATED: Jill Biden Says The President ‘Pretty Much’ Just Needs To Decide On 2024 Launch Date)
The first lady’s remarks were met mostly with derision online, with some commenters accusing the first lady of “obvious racism.” Some online commentators stated that inviting the losing team to the White House would be comparable to handing out “participation trophies.” White House invitations are typically reserved for sports league champions.
LSU basketball star Angel Reese did not respond favorably to the first lady’s wishes, calling them “a joke” on Twitter.
🤣🤣🤣A JOKE. https://t.co/9SiOKQNqbj
— Angel Reese (@Reese10Angel) April 3, 2023
The LSU-Iowa women’s basketball championship game was tainted by controversy after many pundits pointed out supposed double standards in the treatment of LSU’s Angel Reese and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark. Clark, a guard, has notably taunted her opponents multiple times over the course of the tournament. In March, Clark taunted Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith with John Cena’s “You Can’t See Me” celebration. Towards the end of Sunday’s championship game, Reese taunted Clark with the same celebration.
Immediately after Reese’s actions towards Clark, several online commentators called into question Reese’s character and sportsmanship. Some pointed to race as the cause of the disparate media treatment between the two stars.
“This is classless. Angel Reese is only 20, so she’s still young, but taunting Caitlin Clark like this shows a pure lack of class. Win with class, lose with class, play with class. Clark’s mom and dad can be proud that her daughter ignored the taunting. They raised her right,” Our Esquina editor Jose de Jesus Ortiz
“Classless piece of shit,” Barstool founder Dave Portnoy tweeted about Reese.
“When Caitlin Clark did it, it was swag, but when Angel Reese does it, it’s classless. It’s very clear: this is not about anything else but race,” Undisputed’s Shannon Sharpe said.