Another Day, Another Blunder: President Biden's Major Fumble At WNBA Celebration

By Maria Angelino | Friday, 10 May 2024 12:00 PM
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Image Credit : Twitter

In a recent White House event, President Joe Biden made an unfortunate error while honoring the 2023 WNBA champions, the Las Vegas Aces.

The President, alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, celebrated the team's consecutive championships and the 'banner year' for women's basketball, which has seen a surge in popularity due to players like Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese.

However, during his speech, President Biden mistakenly referred to retired player Candace Parker as 'one of the greatest all-time coaches.' This statement caused a ripple of confusion among the audience, as Parker is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished players in WNBA history, not a coach. She retired in April after 16 seasons in the league.

The 38-year-old forward, who recently assumed the role of Adidas' women's basketball president of operations, was absent from the White House event. This new appointment might have been the source of President Biden's confusion. Parker had signed a one-year contract with the Aces in February 2023 after spending two seasons with the Chicago Sky and 14 years with the L.A. Sparks.

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President Biden acknowledged Parker's absence, stating, "While she couldn't be here, I want to acknowledge someone who we consider one of the greatest all-time coaches, Candace Parker. She played 16 seasons in the league, two Olympic gold medals, two regular-season MVPs and a [WNBA] final MVP, and look, going out on top of the world with her third ring. She announced her retirement from the game but I want to thank her for an incredible career. We know she has a whole world in front of her. A whole world."

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In a traditional gesture, both President Biden and Vice President Harris were presented with jerseys from the winning team. Upon receiving his, Biden jovially exclaimed, "Put me in coach, I'm ready to play!"

Vice President Harris also took the opportunity to commend the team for their inspiring performance both on and off the court. "You simply inspire people across our nation and around the world," she said.

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The Las Vegas Aces secured their second consecutive WNBA title by defeating the New York Liberty in the championship last October. President Biden subtly alluded to his own reelection hopes, remarking, "I kind of like that back-to-back stuff."

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In a related issue, President Biden has been vocal about the pay disparity in the WNBA. In April, he criticized the rookie contract of Caitlin Clark with the Fever, which revealed a significant wage gap between male and female players. Clark, the first pick of the 2024 WNBA draft, was set to earn $76,535 in her first season, a fraction of the $12,160,680 earned by Victor Wembanyama, the first overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft, in his first season with the San Antonio Spurs.

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President Biden expressed his concern on social media, writing, "Women in sports continue to push new boundaries and inspire us all. But right now we're seeing that even if you're the best, women are not paid their fair share. It’s time that we give our daughters the same opportunities as our sons and ensure women are paid what they deserve."

This year's NCAA Tournament saw record-breaking viewership for the women's basketball championship, surpassing the men's game for the first time, largely due to Clark's performance with the Iowa Hawkeyes.

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