Angel Reese reveals why LSU players DECLINED to meet First Lady Jill before March Madness final
PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, WASHINGTON, DC: The Lady Tigers were reportedly uninterested in listening to a motivational speech from First Lady Jill Biden prior to the NCAA championship game on Sunday, April 2. LSU's standout forward Angel Reese said the team had rejected to meet with the First Lady, who she had referred to as a "joke" for inviting Iowa to the White House.
The First Lady was accompanied by tennis legend Billie Jean King to the women's national championship game at the American Airlines Center, where they both sat in a suite. On Tuesday, April 4, Reese stated on I Am Athlete's 'Paper Route' episode that the team had not spoken with the First Lady personally. She said, "Apparently she was supposed to come to our locker room before the game but we said 'no'. She was supposed to come to our locker room and go to Iowa's locker room. I don't know if she talked to them. I don't know if she did. But we said we didn't want to. We didn't want her coming into the locker room."
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Why did LSU not want President Biden in the locker room?
When host Brandon Marshall questioned Reese about why the Lady Tigers did not want President Biden in the locker room, Reese said that she wasn't thrilled with the pre-tournament bracket. She stated, "I think Joe Biden had put somebody else to win the national championship."
Reese added, "He didn't even put us on his bucket to get out of Baton Rouge, so I was like, bet... I think that he said we were going to lose to Michigan or something." President Biden had predicted that Villanova would win the championship and that LSU would fall to Michigan in the second round.
On Monday, April 3, a day after Reese led LSU to its first national championship in program history, Jill said, "I know we'll have the champions come to the White House, we always do. So, we hope LSU will come. But, you know, I'm going to tell Joe I think Iowa should come, too, because they played such a good game," according to New York Post.
'We'll go to the Obamas'
Reese's remarks followed her description of the First Lady's invitation to the White House as "a joke" due to the inclusion of the Hawkeyes, despite the long-standing custom of only inviting national champions to the White House. She stuck to her original remark throughout the interview.
Reese described her response to the First Lady as she stated, "That was from the heart. That was from the mind. That was what it was in the moment. As soon as that happened, we [the team] hit the group chat, like, what're we doing? Are y'all trying to go? We made a lot of phone calls and that's why she wants to come and apologize."
Reese continued, "I'm not going to lie to you, because I don't accept her apology... I said what I said... You felt like they [Iowa] should've came because of sportsmanship, they can have that spotlight. We'll go to the Obamas. We'll see Michelle, we'll see Barack."
Biden's spokesman, Vanessa Valdivia, apologized for the remarks on Tuesday, April 4, saying that they were meant to be a support for all women athletes. She tweeted, "The First Lady loved watching the NCAA women's basketball championship game alongside young student athletes and admires how far women have advanced in sports since the passing of Title IX."
Valdivia added, "Her comments in Colorado were intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes. She looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers on their championship win at the White House." Reese stated that she's not sure if she'll go to the White House, according to New York Post. "We're gonna see. I don't know," she stated.
Her comments in Colorado were intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes. She looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers on their championship win at the White House.— Vanessa Valdivia (@vvaldivia46) April 4, 2023