According to a report, no women’s sports champions have accepted an invitation to the White House to celebrate their big win since President Trump came to Washington, and few have even been offered the opportunity.
With the NCAA Champion North Dakota State Bison’s visit this week, the Washington Post took note that only one female champion team has been invited to the White House since Trump became president — and that team declined the invitation.
“The past two WNBA champions, the Minnesota Lynx in 2017 and the Seattle Storm in 2018, were not invited,” the paper reported on March 4.
However, it’s important to note, the Lynx have been one of the more politically active teams in the WNBA. Using a pre-game press conference in July of 2017, to draw attention to the Philando Castile and Alton Sterling shootings. In addition, the Seattle Storm has become the first sports franchise to partner with Planned Parenthood.
So, while the two teams have become champions during President Trump’s tenure, their political activism suggests the White House may not have invited the teams because they felt the invite would be rejected.
Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team also won the NCAA title in 2018 but were not offered a chance to visit the White House.
According to the paper, the past three presidents, Clinton, Bush, and Obama, often invited women’s teams to the White House after title wins. Indeed, every woman’s college title winner going back to 1983, and spanning five presidents, have been offered visits to D.C. It is a record that ended when Trump entered the White House.
“It’s hard not to think that gender is playing a role here,” Lynx Coach-General Manager Cheryl Reeve told the Washington Post.
Trump did offer an invite to the South Carolina women’s basketball team after its 2017 title win. However, the team turned its back on the invitation.
The Lynx have had a visit to the nation’s capital. Sen. Amy Klobuchar arranged a visit to Washington for the Minnesota Lynx after its 2017 WNBA title win. The team participated in an event donating shoes to some D.C. school children in June of last year.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.