After Blacklash, Dr. Jill Biden Disinvites Losing Team Iowa

After Blacklash, Dr. Jill Biden Disinvites Losing Team Iowa


First Lady Jill Biden, April 2, 2023, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

National sports champions have traditionally been invited to the White House for decades. The losers stay home. So when First Lady Jill Biden verbally invited both the Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers, which took home the 2023 National Collegiate Athletic Association national basketball championship title on April 2, and the University of Iowa’s Hawkeyes, the losing team, it caused major backlash — or Blacklash. In fact, the LSU team seems to be so offended that there is talk on social media from team members, such as game Most Outstanding Player Angel Reese, that the team might skip the invite.

Reese called the dual invite “A JOKE” on Twitter.

The uproar is rooted in the fact that Iowa’s team is majority white, while LSU’s team has a majority of Black players. Then there was the controversy over Reese’s taunting hand gestures to Iowa’s star player Caitlin Clark which got called out as unsportsmanlike by mainstream media, even though Clark also made one of the same hand gestures during the game.

On April 3, Biden congratulated both teams on their performance in the national championship game, as well as specifically highlighting Iowa’s sportsmanship, which some took as a dig at Reese.

“Last night, I attended the NCAA women’s basketball championship,” said Biden, while speaking at an event at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, CNN reported.

“So 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 [Biden] I think Iowa should come, too, because they played such a good game.”

Press Secretary to the first lady Vanessa Valdivia tried to later clarify Biden’s comments, saying in a tweet that they “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.”

Following the uproar, Dr. Biden, who received a Doctor of Education in educational leadership from the University of Delaware, walked back her suggestion that the White House might invite both teams. The White House said the only team that has been invited is LSU, meaning Iowa was disinvited.

But there is a back story. During Biden’s attendance at the game she was to visit the locker rooms for both teams before the start of the game. When she attempted to visit the LSU locker room they declined, Reese revealed at a post-game interview with the I Am Athlete’s “Paper Route” YouTube show on April 4.

“Apparently she was supposed to come to our locker room before the game but we said ‘no,’” Reese said, adding that the team did not directly speak with the First Lady.

“She was supposed to come to our locker room and go to Iowa’s locker room. I don’t know if she talked to them. I don’t know if she did,” Reese said.

“But we said we didn’t want to. We didn’t want her coming into the locker room.”  

When asked why the Tigers refused to see Biden in the locker room, Reese told host Brandon Marshall that the team wasn’t pleased with President Biden’s pre-tournament bracket.

“I think Joe Biden had put somebody else to win the national championship,” Reese said. “He didn’t even put us on his bucket to get out of Baton Rouge, so I was like, bet… I think that he said we were going to lose to Michigan or something.” 

President Biden had LSU losing to Michigan in the second round and Villanova taking home the national championship, The New York Post reported

First Lady Jill Biden and other listen to the national anthem before the NCAA Women’s Final Four championship basketball game between LSU and Iowa, April 2, 2023, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)