Jill Biden’s press secretary has retracted comments the first lady made about inviting the Iowa women’s basketball team to the White House after their loss in the NCAA championship game on Sunday.
Biden observed LSU 102-85 victory over Iowa from the stands of the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Sunday night. national champions often visits the White House after title victoriesbut Biden broke with tradition when he suggested that Iowa might as well.
“I know that we will make the champions come to the White House; we always do. So we look forward to LSU coming,” Biden said Monday. “But, you know, I’m going to tell Joe that I think Iowa should come too, because they played so well.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Joe Biden would also extend an invitation to Iowa, and whether it would be a joint visit with LSU or a separate engagement. However, the first lady received rejection for his comments.
LSU star angel reese tweeted a link to a story about Jill Biden’s comments on Monday. “A JOKE,” she wrote, along with three laughing emojis rolling across the floor.
On Tuesday, Jill Biden’s press secretary, Vanessa Valdivia, tweeted to clarify that the first lady “admires how far women have come in sports since the passage of Title IX” and that “[her] The comments in Colorado were intended to applaud the historic game and all the female athletes. She looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers for their championship win at the White House.”
Iowa did not immediately respond to a request for comment on a possible invitation to the White House.
The Iowa-LSU game was the most watched women’s college basketball game of all time in the US. It averaged 9.9 million viewers.103% more than last year’s final.
It also raised a debate about race.. LSU had mostly black players and Iowa had mostly white players. Many believed that Iowa’s star player Caitlin Clark received more positive coverage than Reese.
Reese, the standout player in the Final Four, received scrutiny after she waved her hand in front of her face as she looked at Clark in the final moments of LSU’s victory, then pointed at her finger, a reference to the championship ring that was about to receive. .
Social media lit up afterwards, with some saying it was just trash talk and part of the game, while others condemned Reese for lack of grace in the win. Reese didn’t apologize.
“All year long, I was criticized for who I was,” Reese said. “I don’t fit in a box that all of you want me to be in. I’m too much of a jerk. I’m too ghetto. But when other people do it, you don’t say anything. So this was for the girls that look like me, who will talk about what they believe. No apologies, it’s you.”
Reese is black and Clark is white.
Clark made a similar gesture during Iowa’s Elite Eight win over Louisville. Clark set the record for points scored in a NCAA Tournament with 191 in six games. She did not appear to be affected by Reese’s mannerisms and she did not mention them in post-game interviews.
In Monday’s remarks, Biden also praised how far women’s sports have come in the US since 1972, when Title IX gave women equal rights in sports at federally funded schools.
“It was very exciting, wasn’t it? It was a great game,” she said. “I’m old enough to remember when we got Title IX. We fight very hard, right? We fight so hard. And look where women’s sport has come today.”