The Minnesota Lynx were not invited to the White House by President Donald Trump after being crowned WNBA champions last year, and the Seattle Storm will not be going this year either—even if Trump extends an invitation.
"At this point, it doesn't even really need to be discussed," star point guard Sue Bird said Friday, per ESPN.com's Kevin Pelton. "It's come up. We paid attention to what happened with Minnesota not getting invited. Everyone knew when everything happened with Steph Curry and LeBron [James] on social media, all that stuff. We all pay attention, and we watch.
"So it wasn't an actual conversation where we sat down and said, 'Hey guys, what do you want to do if this happens?' First of all, we wouldn't have, because you can't do that until you win. You don't want any bad juju. But I think it's safe to say we all kind of were on the same page with that."
It's not the first time Bird has made it clear that she will not visit with President Trump.
"I'm sure [President Trump] is going to say we're not invited anyway, so it all works out well," Bird said earlier this week, according to King News' Kipp Robertson.
Bird has made the celebratory trip to the White House multiple times throughout her career. She visited George W. Bush following her second NCAA championship with the Connecticut Huskies and made the trip to see Barack Obama when the Storm won their second title in 2010.
Seattle was unable to visit the White House in 2004 because of the war in Iraq.
Bird was not the only Storm player to speak out. WNBA MVP and Finals MVP Breanna Stewart—who won four titles at UConn—said she was uncertain if she'd go if invited, per Robertson.
Although the New England Patriots, Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Penguins have all continued the tradition of visiting the White House after winning a championship, it has not been uncommon for teams to decline the honor since Trump took office. The Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia Eagles and the South Carolina women's basketball team have all declined to go.
And if LeBron James wins a championship while Trump is in office, he has made it clear he has no desire to visit.
In other words, it appears it will be a case-by-case basis moving forward.