The star point guard from the WNBA champion Seattle Storm reiterated Friday her belief the team would not consider a visit to the White House.
Twice this week, Sue Bird has told media that the newly minted WNBA champions, the Seattle Storm, fresh off a three-game series sweep over the Washington Mystics, will not visit the White House, historically a custom for American pro sports champs.
“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 not getting invited. Everyone knew when everything happened with Steph Curry and LeBron on social media, all that stuff. We all pay attention and we watch.”
Bird is citing what has become a pattern of clashes between basketball programs and President Donald Trump, from the Minnesota Lynx not being invited after their 2017 title to Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors making it clear they would not accept. Trump later rescinded their invitation as well.
Also on the no-invite list was the Notre Dame Fighting Irish women’s basketball program, who under Muffet McGraw won an NCAA championship this spring.
In addition, Trump over the summer attacked LeBron James’ intelligence after a CNN interview centered around the opening of James’ new public school in Akron, Ohio.
This is the third WNBA championship for Bird and the Storm. They did visit the White House after each of the first two, most recently meeting President Barack Obama in 2010. But the experience isn’t the same any more, according to Bird.
“I remember first walking into the room to meet President Obama and the aura” said Bird. “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.”