A Louisiana State women’s basketball player says the team doesn’t plan to visit the White House to celebrate their NCAA championship win after first lady Jill Biden proposed also inviting the losing University of Iowa team.
“[Iowa] can have that spotlight. We’ll go to the Obamas’, I’m gonna see Michelle. I’m gonna see Barack,” star player Angel Reese said Tuesday.
Biden sparked accusations of racism and disrespecting the mostly black champions from Louisiana State on Sunday after she said she would “tell Joe” that “we’ll have the champions come to the White House” but that “Iowa should come, too, because they played such a good game.” The first lady’s spokeswoman later walked back the comments, saying the comments “were intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes.”
“If we were to lose, we would not be getting invited to the White House,” Reese said on a podcast, adding that she “doesn’t accept” the apology.
“I’m not going to lie to you. I don’t accept the apology. You said what you said,” Reese said.
Reese’s teammate Alexis Morris asked former first lady Michelle Obama if the team could “come celebrate our win at your house” following Biden’s snub.
Biden’s office clarified she “looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers on their championship win at the White House,” seemingly closing the door on Biden’s idea to bring both teams.
Biden’s comment drew criticism on social media from users who accused Biden of favoring the majority white Iowa team over LSU by suggesting they be celebrated on the same stage. Reese initially called the proposal “a joke.”
“Jill Biden inviting Iowa to the White House is a joke and it honestly feels like racism,” one Twitter user said. “Bigoted Bidens showing their true colors,” said another.
Democratic Louisiana congressman Troy Carter criticized the first lady on Twitter, saying her idea would diminish the LSU Tigers’ achievement.
“With no disrespect to the outstanding players of the Iowa women’s team … they did not win,” Carter said, adding that the LSU women’s team should “enjoy this historic victory singularly.”
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