Jill Biden slammed for inviting losing Iowa team to the White House

The First Lady has come under a deluge of scrutiny after inviting both the winner and runner-up of the recent NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship to the White House

Many have accused the invitation of being racially motivated, noting that no losing team has ever been invited.

First Lady Jill Biden has come under a deluge of scrutiny after inviting the Iowa Hawkeyes women’s basketball team to the White House following the team’s loss to LSU in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship.

In a speech in Denver, reports Newsweek, Biden said, “I know we’ll have the champions come to the White House; we always do. 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.”

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The remarks were immediately met with widespread criticism, including from LSU’s Angel Reese, who tweeted that the invite was “a joke.”

Some began to speculate that the invitation was more about race than sports. Keith Boykin, who worked in the Clinton White House and now works as a political commentator, tweeted, “No Ma’am! When Black women win a national championship, they should not be forced to share the stage with the losing team.”

Political commentator Ian Miles Cheong voiced a similar sentiment, tweeting, “Jill Biden screwed this up by inviting the losers to go to the White House alongside the winners. Who knew that athletes are competitive by nature and don’t want to share their victories with losers or people who enable losers.”

The First Lady’s press secretary, Vanessa Valdivia, was quick to respond, tweeting the next day, “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.”

Another tweet simply said, “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.”

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Clark, for one, does not accept the apology. 

In an interview with I Am Athlete, Clark said, “I don’t accept it. I’m not going to lie to you. I don’t accept the apology, because you said what you said. And I said what I said.”

Clark also said the team would not visit the White House, saying instead, “We’ll go to the Obamas’. We’ll see Michelle. We’ll see Barack.” 

Louisiana State University and the University of Iowa have been contacted for comment. Vanessa Valdivia was unable to be reached. This article will be updated accordingly.

Follow Austin Browne on Twitter.