Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) coach Cheryl Reeve told reporters that the lack of a White House invitation to celebrate her team’s championship, shows that President Trump does not value women’s sports.
Reeve, the coach and General Manager of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, says that the White House has still not invited the league champions to visit the White House even as Trump has met with a long list of championship teams from men’s sports.
“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,” Reeve told The Washington Post. “I think it reflects the priorities of this particular administration.”
Reeve also took to Twitter to complain about the lack of an invitation for the WNBA champs to celebrate their win with a White House visit.
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
Reeve went on to press the point saying, “I’d love to hear what is the reason why championships that have been celebrated since this inception of our league — we’ve been around for 20-plus years — why the sudden change?”
The coach also noted that WNBA champs had been invited to the White House during the Obama years. “President Obama sort of spoiled us in terms of establishing this expectation to be recognized,” she said.
WNBA President Lisa Borders also lent her voice of disappointment over the lack of response from the White House.
“I am disappointed that the White House hasn’t invited our champion Minnesota Lynx,” Borders said. “Not celebrating the WNBA champions is a missed opportunity for our leaders to learn from these incredible women and athletes who serve as an influence and inspiration to their millions of fans around the world.”
On the other hand, a large number of WNBA players have loudly expressed criticism of Donald Trump in the recent past. In addition, entire WNBA teams have used their sport for political activism protesting against the country by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem.
For instance, the entire Indiana Fever team took a knee in protest before a game in September of 2016. Also that year, multiple players across the league risked fines by wearing Black Lives Matter shirts on the court. Such protests became so pervasive that police officers working as security in Minneapolis walked off the job over the WNBA’s protests.
That being said, even coach Reeve admitted that it is widely assumed that an invitation to the White House would only serve as an excuse for players to jump into their left-wing activism and the invitation might be loudly and publicly turned down. Reeve, though, says that assumption is “not fair.”
“People sort of make an assumption that we wouldn’t go to the White House, and I don’t think that’s fair,” Reeve told the paper. “For us, we would have a conversation with our core group that always makes decisions, and we would talk about the merits of accepting or declining an invitation.”
In other words, even with her complaints that there has been no invite to celebrate their championship, Reeve isn’t sure her team would even accept such an invite.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.