LSU lady hoopster Angel Reese would rather visit Obamas than Biden White House
LSU women’s basketball star Angel Reese has lashed out again at first lady Jill Biden, saying she and her teammates would rather celebrate their NCAA championship with the Obamas than at the White House.
Reese criticized President Biden’s wife Tuesday for initially extending public invites to both LSU and Iowa, the team the Tigers beat 102-85 in Sunday’s championship game.
A rep for the first lady later walked back the offer to the Hawkeyes.
“I’m not gonna lie to you, I don’t accept the apology,” Reese said on the “Paper Route” podcast. “You said what you said … And like, you can’t go back on certain things that you say.”
“They can have that spotlight,” Reese, the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player, said of the invitation for Iowa. “We’ll go to the Obamas. We’ll see Michelle, we’ll see Barack.”
LSU guard Alexis Morris agreed with her teammate.
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in the White HouseGetty Images
“Michelle OBAMA can we (LSU NATIONAL CHAMPS) come celebrate our win at your house ?” she tweeted Monday.
“Mrs.Obama made sure we had healthy snacks when I was in middle school, I still eat BAKED HOT CHEETOS !” Morris joked later on Twitter. “Come on auntie Michelle.”
Though Tigers coach Kim Mulkey has said the team would accept the White House invitation typically offered championship winners, Reese said on the podcast, “We’re gonna see. I don’t know.”
LSU guard Alexis Morris said she too wanted to visit the Obamas instead of the Bidens.Boston Globe via Getty Images “I’m going to tell Joe I think Iowa should come too,” Jill Biden said on Monday.Getty Images
“I just know that if the roles were reversed, it wouldn’t be the same,” Reese went on. “If we were to lose, we would not be getting invited to the White House.”
Jill Biden had offered the Hawkeyes the equivalent of a participation trophy during an event in Denver on Monday — the day after she watched LSU beat Iowa for the championship in Dallas.
“I know we’ll have the champions come to the White House; we always do,” she said. “So, we hope LSU will come, but, you know, I’m going to tell Joe I think Iowa should come too, because they played such a good game … So winners and losers, that’s sportsmanship. That’s good sportsmanship.”
Reese later tweeted out a story about the first lady’s remarks, calling them “A JOKE” and sharing three rolling-on-the-floor-laughing emojis.
On her podcast appearance, Reese said she took the first lady’s reference to “sportsmanship” as a dig at her for taunting Iowa star Caitlin Clark in the game’s final minute.
Angel Reese took the invitation as a slight following her viral taunting moment with Caitlin Clark.USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con President Biden indicated Tuesday that only LSU would be invited to the White House.USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con The LSU Tigers defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 102-85 in the NCAA tournament.Getty Images
“I remember she made a comment about [how] both teams should be invited because of sportsmanship. And I’m like, ‘Are you saying that because of what I did?’” Reese said. “Stuff like that, it bothers me because you are a woman at the end of the day. White, black, it doesn’t matter, you’re a woman, you’re supposed to be standing behind us before anything.”
NCAA runner-up teams have never been invited to the White House, though winning teams have been regular guests since at least the Reagan administration.
A spokeswoman for Jill Biden later indicated that only the Tigers would be offered a White House appearance.
“The First Lady loved watching the NCAA women’s basketball championship game alongside young student athletes and admires how far women have advanced in sports since the passing of Title IX,” the first lady’s press secretary, Vanessa Valdivia, tweeted.
“Her comments in Colorado were intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes. She looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers on their championship win at the White House,” Valdivia added.
President Biden said in a separate statement that both LSU and men’s NCAA basketball champion UConn would be greeted at the executive mansion, saying Americans “can all learn a lot from watching these champions compete.”