LSU players balk at Jill Biden floating an Iowa invitation to White House

First Lady Jill Biden, right, speaks next to Colorado Speaker of the House Julie McCluskie...
First Lady Jill Biden, right, speaks next to Colorado Speaker of the House Julie McCluskie during a roundtable discussion Monday (April 3) in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)(David Zalubowski | AP)
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 8:35 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - First Lady Jill Biden, still enthralled by the NCAA women’s basketball championship game she attended, opened a can of worms at a speaking appearance Monday (April 3) in Colorado, and the LSU Lady Tigers were having none of it.

The First Lady suggested breaking decades of tradition by inviting both champion LSU and runner-up Iowa to the White House.

“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.”

LSU star Angel Reese responded bluntly on Twitter, following three crying-laughing emojis with “A JOKE.”

Congressman Troy Carter (D-Louisiana) of New Orleans issued a statement calling the First Lady’s suggestion “an unintentional slight.”

“Louisiana State University’s women’s basketball team won the 2023 NCAA basketball championship and should enjoy their historic victory singularly,” Carter said. “With no disrespect to the outstanding players from Iowa, they did not win. The exceptional Louisiana Tigers are the indisputable winners of the championship, and this win is theirs and theirs alone. An invitation to the Iowa team would be at the expense of our Louisiana athletes.

“I know the First Lady meant no harm by commenting that the University of Iowa should also be invited to the White House. But her remark was an unintentional slight to the ladies of LSU and the citizens of Louisiana. I am respectfully requesting that these Louisiana champions enjoy the winner’s circle alone.”

Jill Biden was in the stands Sunday, watching the Lady Tigers’ 102-85 rout of the Lady Hawkeyes at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The White House did not immediately comment on nor endorse the dual invitation suggestion the First Lady offered at her Monday speaking engagement in Denver.

In her remarks, Jill Biden also marveled at how far American women’s sports have come since Title IX in 1972 gave women equal rights in sports at schools that receive federal funding.

“It was so exciting, wasn’t it,” Jill Biden said. “It was such a great game. I’m old enough that I remember when we got Title IX. We fought so hard, right? We fought so hard. And look at where women’s sports have come today.”

Following LSU’s victory, Tigers coach Kim Mulkey said she would go to the White House if the team was invited. But after Jill Biden’s remarks and her teammate Reese’s response, LSU’s Alexis Morris suggested an alternative involving a former First Lady.

“Michelle Obama, can we (LSU national champs) come celebrate our win at your house?” Morris tweeted.

Reese immediately endorsed the idea.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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