Seattle Storm to Visit White House Monday to Celebrate 2020 WNBA Title

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 20, 2021

PALMETTO, FL - OCTOBER 6:  The Seattle Storm pose for a team photo with the trophy after winning the 2020 WNBA Championship in Game Three of the WNBA Finals against the Las Vegas Aces on October 6, 2020 at Feld Entertainment Center in Palmetto, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Seattle Storm will visit the White House in Washington, D.C., on Monday to celebrate their 2020 WNBA championship.

Seattle Storm @seattlestorm

Invitation accepted! 💯<br><br>We’re excited to celebrate our 2020 <a href="https://twitter.com/WNBA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WNBA</a> Championship at the White House on August 23! 🏆<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StrongerThanEver?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StrongerThanEver</a> <a href="https://t.co/MESIo45ZbD">pic.twitter.com/MESIo45ZbD</a>

According to the team, the trip will encompass more than honoring last season's triumph: "Before the ceremony, Storm players will participate in a conversation with members of the White House Gender Policy Council and work with the White House to record messages of support for gender, racial and LGBTQ+ equality, voting rights, and pro-vaccination."

Seattle swept the Las Vegas Aces in the 2020 Finals for its second championship in three seasons. The Storm didn't make the trip to the nation's capital after their 2018 WNBA title.

They were among multiple major sports champions who declined to partake in or simply weren't invited for the traditional event during Donald Trump's presidency. The Minnesota Lynx in June 2016 are the last WNBA team to make the trek; President Barack Obama left office the following January.

The issue was especially personal for Storm legend Sue Bird given Trump's particular animus toward now-fiancee Megan Rapinoe. She penned a 2019 essay for The Players' Tribune titled, "So the President F--king Hates My Girlfriend."

Bird told the Associated Press' Doug Feinberg the arrival of Joe Biden in the Oval Office made a White House visit more palatable:

"Now that it’s back in a place where it’s considered an honor and you’re recognized by the highest office in the country is exciting, it’s fun. It’s not just about meeting the president or hopefully the vice president is there. It’s about the whole experience of being in the White House. Having a day that’s about your team and celebrating what you’ve accomplished."

The timing of Monday's celebration lines up with the 16-7 Storm's road game against the Washington Mystics (8-13) on Sunday. They'll then head west to play the Lynx (13-9) in Minneapolis on Tuesday.