Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve of the WNBA's four time championship team, the Minnesota Lynx, had harsh words for President Donald Trump Tuesday, confirming for CNN that the president hasn't invited a single championship women's team to the White House as he has done for several men's teams.
"So first of all, when your team won, did you receive an invitation from the White House?" asked host Erica Hill.
"When we won our latest championship in 2017, the answer is no. We have grown accustomed to winning championships in 2011, '13 and '15 and following each of those championships the president phoned us," she said, adding that President Barack Obama always invited the team to the White House. "Unfortunately, the fourth one in 2017, there was no such phone call or an invite to visit the White House."
"Why do you think there was no invitation for you in 2017," pressed Hill.
"Unfortunately, I think it's hard not to believe that it has something to do with gender," Reeve said. "It seems that all the other invites have been male sports." She added that with Trump's history of making racist and sexist comments, visiting the president had become "a political lightning bolt" that he might simply be trying to avoid.
"The president in turn has this mind set that he just doesn't want to look bad by folks not going to visit him and that's certainly unfair for our group," she said. "We would have been very thoughtful in our response to being able to go visit the White House and we would have enjoyed that for sure."
"If the president extended an invitation then or even today, would you accept it?" asked Hill.
"In this case, certainly there would be more conversation that would have had to happen, because there are some players that would have felt like they would not have wanted to align themselves with this president," Reeve replied. "I would have asked all of them to consider that this isn't just about this sitting president, this is about -- this is what championships do."
"It would have been important for us to put that political part aside, and make a bigger statement for girls and women around the country."
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