Teammates from WNBA champion team Seattle Storm have commented on the lack of an invitation to the White House.
“At this point does it even need to be discussed?” said Sue Bird in an interview with The Seattle Times. “It’s come up. We pay attention to what happened with Minnesota and not getting invited. … We all pay attention to what’s going on.”
Bird is an 11-time All-Star basketball player. She has previously gone to visit the White House when President Obama was in office.
“There’s an excitement about it,” Bird said. “You’re going to the White House. I remember first walking in to meet President Obama and it’s like — just the aura — it’s insane. And now it’s, that’s not what the feeling is anymore. It doesn’t feel exciting. Nobody wants to go. It’s totally changed and that’s disappointing because it used to be something that most athletes looked forward to.”
Other athletes have also refused to go to the White House, with the Golden State Warriors having their invitation revoked.
“It’s a huge disappointment,” Bird said. “(It) used to be something that’s really special and something that was an honor and you look forward to.”
While some athletes have refused, others, such as the New England Patriots, Houston Astros and Alabama Crimson Tide.