Athletes who win national championships have been invited to the White House for centuries, and receiving such an invite is generally thought of as a great honor. Since 1983, every NCAA women’s national champions have been invited to the White House. That record may not stand after this year, however, unless the South Carolina Gamecocks receive an invitation this fall.
It is still unknown as to why the Gamecocks, who won the national championship against Mississippi in April, have not yet received an invitation to attend and tour the White House under President Donald Trump.
Immediately after their win, head coach Dawn Staley was convinced that they would be visiting the White House soon. She even said, “It’s what National Champions do.” Now, Staley is giving the impression that something happened between the Gamecocks and Trump that is currently preventing them from being invited to the White House.
“Some things…transpired over the last few months,’ said Staley. “I haven’t talked to anyone about it. I got bigger fish to fry.”
Is the Trump administration discriminating against women, or do the South Carolina Gamecocks have a problem with the administration? Some athletes have spoken out about their criticisms of the president. Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, amongst others, have even announced their decisions not to attend the White House, even if their teams decide to go.
Trump responded to this decision on Twitter, calling Curry out in a tweet on September 23rd.
“Going to the White House is considered a great honor. Stephan Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation withdrawn!” tweeted Trump.
The president publicly called out a citizen for practicing their rights as an American. This did not sit well with many athletes. The Golden State Warriors backed out of the trip after the tweet, and Lebron James responded on Twitter, saying, “U bum. Steph Curry already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up.”
Some teams, including the New England Patriots, the Clemson football team, and the Chicago Cubs, have visited the White House after winning their national championship games. However, trips to the White House this year are not a given like they were in the past.
Some people believe that an emphasis shouldn’t be put on who the president is, and that the teams should accept the trip to the White House as a great honor. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however, and an individual has a right to decide if they want to attend the White House or not.
In the case of the South Carolina Gamecocks, however, it is plausible to believe that there is a reason as to why they have not been invited. It should be noted that this has never been as large of an issue in the past, and was never a problem during the Obama administration.
According to the office of Nikki Haley, the former Governor of South Carolina and current US Ambassador for the United Nations, the Gamecocks should receive an invitation later this fall. A date has yet to be determined.
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