For the first time in what seemed like forever, there actually was an acknowledgement of a WNBA team that won a championship at the nation’s highest office.
On Monday, the 2020 WNBA champion Seattle Storm, fresh off facing the Washington Mystics at the DC Entertainment and Sports Arena, paid a visit to President Joe Biden at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. WNBA and NBA wisely skipped such celebrations at the White House when The Former Guy occupied 1600 for a depressing four years.
The only thing that was missing was Vice President Kamala Harris who is traveling overseas in southeast Asia.
Happening Now: President Biden welcomes the Seattle Storm to the White House to honor the team for their 2020 WNBA Championship. https://t.co/edts52M3S1
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 23, 2021
Biden not only praised the Storm for its athletic success, but also for being leaders as social justice activists. The Storm were the only WNBA team to publicly endorse the Biden-Harris ticket from last season’s election, telling us that the Seattle organization knows a thing or two about how to pick winners both on and away from the court.
The way this season has unfolded for the Storm, Seattle has its sights set on making another trip to see Biden (and Harris?) at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next year.
Fashion-forward Breanna Stewart said her White House outfit – a Ryota Sakai coat and Thom Browne pants – was put together by Puma creative designer June Ambrose. And the kicks, of course, are Pumas. pic.twitter.com/3a9J9dckVo
— Percy Allen (@percyallen) August 23, 2021
And as the memes continue to fly about what Breanna Stewart wore to the White House, at the very least, she was there. At the very least the whole team was there and they were greeted by a President of the United States that, despite his flaws, is not an insecure chauvinist the way The Former Guy is.
With the rise in awareness for women’s sports and the rise of women’s sports leagues such as the NWSL and the NWHL, its champions as well deserve the same respect via White House visits. These visits typically occur when the defending champion from the previous season is playing one of the D.C.-based teams (unless, of course, that champion is a D.C.-based team).
This visit to the White House from the Seattle Storm appeared to be much more enjoyable then that forced visit that came courtesy of the 2019 national champion Baylor Bears and its coach Kim Mulkey. While she may have enjoyed that trip to 1600, one can only imagine how uncomfortable many of the players from that team had to feel – not to mention them being treated to a menu that looked more like it was off an exit on Interstate 95 in southern Virginia.
On the issue of that 2020 championship, that was arguably the hardest championship to win in WNBA history. The ESPN documentary “144” told us all how grueling that season in the bubble was, isolated from so much with so much going on in the world while still being expected to perform on the basketball court at the highest of levels.
Given the apolitical tradition of teams visiting the White House, it simply felt right to see the Storm recognized for its success. From the pictures they had the chance to take with President Biden to the “46 Biden” custom Explorer jersey that was made, there was simply so much about that that simply felt correct. With Biden and Harris in office, our guess is WNBA teams (as well as those of other women’s leagues) will feel a lot better about White House visits and that they will actually be treated the right way during those visits which is not something one can say about the previous four years.
Also – someone needs to tell Biden to fit some time in his extremely busy schedule to honor the 2019 WNBA champions that play right in his backyard. After all, he has a very First State connection with at least one Washington Mystic.
— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) November 9, 2020