Inside WNBA Champs Seattle Storm's Visit To The White House
By Morgyn Wood
August 25, 2021
WNBA's Seattle Storm visited President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at the White House on Monday (August 23) to cap off the celebration of their 2020 Championship. The visit came after a challenging season in the bubble amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S.'s so-called racial reckoning, following the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
The Storm is the first WNBA team, or NBA team, to visit the White House since the Minnesota Lynx in 2015 during the Obama Administration.
During Monday's visit, President Biden congratulated the team and issued a special shout-out to Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, and Jewell Loyd. The three athletes brought home a gold medal with Team USA following the Tokyo Olympics earlier this month.
46 also commended the Storm for being the only team in sports with all-female leadership and ownership.
Crystal Langhorne, former Storm forward, was recently named front office Director of Community Engagement for Force4Change — a social justice initiative launched in 2020 by the Storm organization to serve the black community. During the ceremony, Langhorne said, "Force4Change works to create a more equitable society." She additionally urged people to invest in underserved communities and work with organizations leading the way.
At another point in the ceremony, the Seattle Storm organization presented Biden with an honorary jersey. The President later kneeled in front of the team with the gift for a photo op.
Following the ceremony, Black Information Network Reporter Morgyn Wood spoke with forward and Olympian Breanna Stewart about the team's continued efforts to bring awareness to social movements.
"We’re on this huge platform because we play basketball and how we play, but also using that to amplifying the message to speak out for Black Lives Matter," she shared.
Guard and 5X Olympic gold medal winner Sue Bird also spoke about inclusion in sports, saying, "people are missing out." She added, it benefits organizations to have women "in the room."
Crystal Langhorne discussed her transition from the court to the front office, calling the move smooth. Langhorne went on to talk about the impact she creates with Force4Change, saying, "I feel like we can do so many things. We’re amplifying black voices, BlackPAC youth, the lgbtq+ community, [and] we’re supporting black businesses.”
Ahead of the Storm's visit to the White House, the team beat the Washington Mystics 85-78. Breanna Stewart put up 20 points, 12 rebounds, and two assists in that game.
The Seattle Storm is looking to defend their title and repeat as champions.