- Erica Blackburn
President Biden honors the Storm for their 2020 WNBA Championship
On a scorching hot August afternoon, President Biden welcomed the Seattle Storm to the White House to honor the franchise for their 2020 WNBA championship.
Biden opened the ceremony crediting women in sports for opening the eyes of girls and women to their options in life, and even leading to the country elected its first female vice president.
"What makes this team remarkable is they don't just win games, they change lives, encouraging people to get vaccine and speak up and stand up for racial justice to end an epidemic of violence and discrimination,” said Biden. “These women are amazing athletes, the best in the world. We honor them by showing up for them.”
The president stood off to the side as team co-owner Ginny Gilder spoke next. Gilder noted that although the athletes spent the season sequestered in a bubble, they were anything but oblivious to the ‘movement for social change’ taking hold across the country. She lauded the players “who waded into the center of this movement,’ generating engagement and putting a spotlight on racial justice and voter registration and ‘altering the power balance to the US Senate by helping to elect two senators from the state of Georgia.’
It’s the fourth title for the Storm, tying a WNBA record. The team won titles in 2004, 2010 and 2018. Then-President Barack Obama welcomed the team to the White House in June 2011 – the last time the team was here – to celebrate their 2010 championship. In June 2016, Obama welcomed the 2015 Minnesota Lynx, the last time WNBA champs were at the White House. The Storm is the first women’s team welcomed to the White House during the Biden administration.
At the end of the ceremony, President Biden took a knee as he posed for a photo with the Seattle Storm.
“Thank you for being you,” said President Biden. “Thank you for believing in one another."