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Trump's White House Reception For Yet Another College Football Team Highlights A Glaring Issue

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

While Donald Trump opens the White House doors to college sports teams celebrating their wins, his attempts at good will are sorely lacking.

A few months ago, 45 welcomed the NCAA champion Clemson Tigers football team into the East Room, where the young athletes were greeted to a smorgasbord of what Trump called, "great American food."


In the absence of kitchen staff during the government shutdown, the main course consisted of cold burgers from McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and Dominos Pizza on silver platters surrounded by candelabras, because setting the mood will somehow cloak the tackiness of the celebratory luncheon.

With the government re-opened, the commander-in-chief kept to his tradition and once again served up cardboard containers of congealed fast food to Division 1 winners, the North Dakota State Bison.

But despite his questionable tastes, Trump isn't being scrutinized for his default menu option this time around.

The Washington Post reported on the Trump administration's obvious lack of representation towards women's athletic teams.

Since taking office, Donald Trump has yet to host a women's championship sports team for a solo reception at the White House.



Previously, the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) teams have been honored under the Bush, Obama and Clinton administrations and NCAA women's basketball champion teams were invited to the White House in the past five administrations.

The current White House did host a November 2017 event that welcomed both women's and men's college sports champions.

Among the attendees were athletes from the University of Maryland's women's lacrosse team, the University of Utah's co-ed ski team, West Virginia University's co-ed rifle team, the McKendree University women's bowling team, the University of Washington women's rowing team, University of Oklahoma softball team and the Penn State women's rugby team.

But The Post reported that the past two WNBA champions–the Minnesota Lynx in 2017 and the Seattle Storm in 2018–did not receive invites for their respective victory celebrations.

There could be a silver lining.




Honoring athletes at the White House is a tradition dating back to the Reagan administration. But exclusively honoring men's teams is not a tradition.

Since 1983, every women's college basketball champion was invited to attend a White House event.

But not under Trump's roof.




Not that every invite receives an affirmative.

In November 2017, the South Carolina women's basketball team declined the group invitation that included men's and women's teams so they could train for the upcoming 2018 NCAA tournament.

The Gamecocks coach Diane Staley said in a statement:

"As I've been saying since our practices for this season started, all of our focus is on the season ahead. The only invitation we are thinking about is to the 2018 NCAA Tournament."

When the team won the school's first national championship back in April 2017, Staley told the Associated Press they would got to the White House if invited. In September, Staley said they had yet to receive an invitation "and that in itself speaks volumes."

Men's teams have generally been invited shortly after their winning games, even if the visit has to be postponed.


According to CNN, Trump-hosted events include the Clemson and Alabama men's football teams, 2017 Super Bowl champ New England Patriots, the Stanley Cup-winning Washington Capitals hockey team and NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series champion Martin Truex.

On Monday, Trump became the first president since Bill Clinton to welcome a team that won in the NCAA's secondary division by ushering in the FCS division championship North Dakota State Bison to the fast food feast.