LSU women’s basketball star Angel Reese said she rejects comments made by First Lady Jill Biden about inviting both the Tigers and Iowa to the White House after LSU’s dominant victory over the Hawkeyes in the national championship and also said she would prefer to celebrate the title with the Obamas.
“I don’t accept that — I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t accept that apology because she said what she said,” Reese said during an appearance on the “I Am Athlete” podcast that published Tuesday. “You can’t go back on certain things that you say. You felt that they should have came because of ‘sportsmanship,’ right? (Iowa) can have that spotlight; we’ll go to the Obamas. We’ll see Michelle. We’ll see Barack.”
Reese, a sophomore forward, also said LSU declined to have Biden, who was in Houston to watch the game in person, speak to their locker room prior to tipoff.
“We said we didn’t want to,” Reese said. “I think Joe Biden put somebody else to win the national championship. He didn’t even put us on his bracket, getting out of Baton Rouge, so I was like, ‘Bet. bet.’ I think he said we were going to lose to Michigan (in the second round) or something.”
Reese was named the Final Four’s most outstanding player after LSU’s 102-85 victory Sunday night. Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the United States, with Joe Biden as his Vice President for both terms, from 2009-17.
What else did Angel Reese say about First Lady Jill Biden suggesting to invite Iowa to the White House?
“I just know if the roles were reversed, it wouldn’t be the same,” Reese said. “If we were to lose, we would not be getting invited to the White House. I remember she made a comment that both teams should be invited because it was about sportsmanship.
“And I’m like, are you saying that because of what I did?” Reese continued, flashing the hand gesture with which she taunted Iowa star Caitlin Clark toward the end of the national championship game. “Stuff like that, it bothers me. Because you are a woman, at the end of the day. White, black, it doesn’t matter, you’re supposed to be standing behind us before anything, so it’s hard to see things like that and not to comment on it. But at the same time, I have the platform right now where I can speak out and a lot of people have had my back through it. I’m proud to be in a situation like this. Nobody is giving her grace right now. Trust me, nobody is giving her grace and that’s why she’s trying to back track on what she said.”
What did First Lady Jill Biden say about a potential Iowa invitation?
While Reese is slightly misquoting Biden, who never used the word “sportsmanship” in her comments about wanting to invite Iowa, the sentiment was largely the same.
“I know we’ll have the champions come to the White House, we always do. So, we hope LSU will come,” Biden said. “But, you know, I’m going to tell Joe I think Iowa should come, too, because they played such a good game.”
On Tuesday, through Valdivia, Biden walked back those comments, saying: “Her comments in Colorado were intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes” and that “She looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers on their championship win at the White House.”