By Melody Milan
Modern sports are full of outrage.
It’s what gets clicks and ratings.
But phony outrage is running amuck.
First Lady Jill Biden’s office seemingly backed off statements that she wants the defeated Iowa women’s basketball team to be invited to the White House in addition to the national title winner Louisiana State University.
Biden watched LSU’s 102-85 victory over Iowa from the stands on Sunday night. Later while speaking in Denver, Biden praised Iowa’s sportsmanship and congratulated both teams on their performance.
“I know we’ll have the champions come to the White House, we always do. So, we hope LSU will come,” she said. “But, you know, I’m going to tell Joe I think Iowa should come, too, because they played such a good game.”
The comments sparked immediate backlash across the country and from the national champions. LSU star Angel Reese tweeted a link to a story on Jill Biden’s remarks on Monday. “ A JOKE,” she wrote, along with three rolling-on-floor-laughing emojis.
Reese’s teammate Alexis Morris suggested that the LSU team should celebrate at Michelle Obama’s home.
“Michelle OBAMA can we (LSU NATIONAL CHAMPS) come celebrate our win at your house?” Morris wrote on Twitter.
On Tuesday, Press Secretary to the First Lady Vanessa Valdivia tried to calm the growing fires on social media.
“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. 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.”
Before Valdivia’s statement, other prominent personalities chimed in on the controversy.
“That is a bad suggestion. Runner-ups don’t get invited to the White House. Why are we trying to change it now?” Stephen A. Smith shared on Twitter.
“LSU SHOULD NOT have to share the stage with Iowa at the White House. Period,” Robert Griffin III said.
“With no disrespect to the outstanding players of the Iowa women’s team…they did not win!” U.S. Congress member Troy Carter from Louisiana said. “LSU’s women’s basketball is the indisputable winner of the 2023 NCAA Championship and they should enjoy this historic victory singularly.
President Joe Biden also issued a statement congratulating both LSU and men’s national champions from The University of Connecticut.