MVP Meets M’VP The Sequel: Aces 2024 White House visit displays value of having individuals who respect women in power

Photo Credit: Norman DeShong

With the Las Vegas Aces in the throes of becoming the WNBA’s next great dynasty, the WNBA’s top team has become very accustomed to gracing 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with their presence. 

Last season, the Aces visited the White House around the time of a matchup in Washington, D.C. to take on the Mystics. President Joe Biden was not in attendance for the visit but Vice President Kamala Harris was – and she emceed the festivities. 

This time both of the most powerful individuals on the planet were on hand to celebrate the achievement of what is currently the W’s most powerful team. 

Even during the dark days when the WNBA was in relative obscurity, teams still paid visits to the White House – even during the Republican administration of George W. Bush. Teams rightfully shunned the White House when The Former Guy was soiling it with his presence. 

But White House visits for women athletes mean something entirely different today. Women’s sports are in a renaissance period with more eyeballs, more money and more media attention being directed towards their many athletic achievements. 

Having individuals in positions of power who geninuely laud women for more than solely the male gaze – whether their offices are on Pennsylvania Avenue or Madison Avenue – has never been more important. 

We know that Biden – Delaware’s favorite son – has given plenty of kudos over the years to a favorite daughter of the First State. That, of course, is Elena Delle Donne. And with Harris being from the Bay Area, one can only imagine the 100-watt grin that lined her face when the WNBA announced an expansion team for 2025 in San Francisco. 

Speaking of honoring the achievements of women athletes, just as a White House visit was in order for A’ja Wilson’s WNBA team, up next has to be the team from her collegiate alma mater. That, of course, is South Carolina whose 2024 rendition went an undefeated 38-0 en route to a national championship – and the third for coach Dawn Staley. 

South Carolina has become very familiar with Vice President Harris as of late. Staley surprised her team by introducing the VP and Staley’s players – a testament to the diversity of women’s basketball – could not have been any happier. 

Te-Hina Paopao and MiLaysia Fulwiley – meet Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. 

Say what one wants about this administration – it is had its fair share of missteps – student loans, Gaza, you name it. But one thing that has been a constant throughout these years of Biden and Harris in charge is they respect the athletic achievements of women. 

And while A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, Chelsea Gray, Sydney Colson, Kierstan Bell, Kiah Stokes and the rest of the Vegas cast had to be thrilled to have one more visit to 1600, it also was a big deal for Biden and Harris themselves. 

Last time we checked, Las Vegas is in Nevada which is a swing state that has leaned blue in recent elections. Biden and Harris will likely return to 1600 for a second term with a victory in Nevada. 

Nine times out of ten, sports-centric messages do not get very far in presidential campaigns. But a message Biden and Harris can use when this year’s campaign reaches its apex in the fall is how they want women to elevate in society – and how the other side wants to keep them confined to the house. 

And when we say women – we mean ALL women – including transgender women. Remember, there are lots of snakes out there who fly the “Protect Women’s Sports” banner when we know it is only an excuse to discriminate against transgender athletes. 

Last year when the Aces visited the White House with only Harris present – the message that sent to young girls was unmistakable. If one dreams big enough and is committed enough one could very well be the next A’ja Wilson – or the next Kamala Harris. 

The takeaway from this visit reinforced something. Championship visits to the White House are always a highlight of one’s sporting career. But they are much more enjoyable when one knows that women’s achievements should be every bit as equally celebrated as those of their male counterparts. 

And it is once again why 2024 is another election season to ensure we get in formation and show up en masse to the polls this fall. Either in-person, absentee, early or by mail. 

No excuses for not doing so.