The Seattle Storm last visited the White House in 2011 right after their second WNBA championship in 2010.
After the series sweep on Wednesday though, don’t expect them to visit President Trump anytime soon.
On Friday, Sue Bird, the Storm’s point guard, said that even if an invitation were extended by the White House, the team would not be interested in accepting.
“At this point, it doesn’t even really need to be discussed,” Bird said. “It’s come up. We paid attention to what happened with Minnesota (the 2017 WNBA Champion) not getting invited. Everyone knew when everything happened with Steph Curry and LeBron (James) on social media, all that stuff. We all pay attention and we watch.”
Bird goes on to say that although the team didn’t have an “actual conversation” about it before the finals, for fears of jinxing themselves, she believes that the players are all on the same page going forward and that an invitation would no longer carry the same honor as before.
“I’ve been really fortunate to go, and it’s exciting,” Bird said. “You’re going to the White House. I remember first walking into the room to meet President Obama and the aura. … It’s insane. Now, that’s not what the case is anymore. It doesn’t feel exciting. Nobody wants to go. It’s totally changed. And that’s disappointing, because it used to be, like I said, something that most athletes would look forward to.”
Teammate Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who like Bird visited the White House after winning an NCAA basketball championship at UConn, said she feels bad for teammates who haven’t experienced a trip to the White House.
The normally prestigious trip to visit the nation’s capital and the President would be the finale to cap a championship run.
The Minnesota Lynx, last year’s WNBA champion, did not receive an invitation to the White House after their win. Instead, the team visited Washington D.C. to hand out shoes and socks to kids from low-income families.
Starting center Natasha Howard, who was part of the 2017 Lynx title team that did not receive a White House invitation, said she would not accept one this year.
The Golden State Warriors, who won the title in 2017 and 2018, received an invitation last year, but President Trump withdrew the invite after Warriors star Steph Curry said he would against accepting an invitation.
“For what we stand for in Seattle, and what we stand for in the league, I think it’s pretty evident that we don’t want to go,” shooting guard Jewell Loyd said. “So thanks for the non-invite.”
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