OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
One co-host of “The View” offered up some criticism of Jill Biden after the first lady offered a White House invitation to the University of Iowa women’s basketball team even though they came up short in their game against the LSU Tigers.
Co-host Sunny Hostin claimed that Biden had some “racial blind spots” for inviting the white-dominated Iowa team along with the primarily black LSU squad.
Show colleague Whoopi Goldberg appeared to come to the defense of Biden, suggesting that she may not have known that only the winning team is invited to the White House.
Her defense came after Biden received criticism for her remarks suggesting that President Joe Biden should invite both the winning and losing teams of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament to the White House. Critics called her comments tone-deaf and racially insensitive, as the star player of the winning team, Angel Reese of LSU, is black, while Iowa’s leading scorer, Caitlin Clark, is white.
“Maybe she doesn’t know, as her husband knows, that only the winning team gets to go,” Goldberg said. “Knowing her as I do, I don’t think it’s that she wanted the white kids to come and not the black kids. I think it was more, ‘I’m a teacher and I’m trying to make nice with everybody.’ I just want to point out that sometimes people say stuff or do stuff and people rake them over the coals. But unnecessarily, because they did not take the time out to say well, is this an offense or is this somebody who is ignorant?” Goldberg offered.
“I would think that it’s ignorance. It could be somewhat considered unconscious bias. I mean everyone doesn’t get a trophy,” Hostin said in response.
“I don’t know that she knew it or not but it was clearly a blind spot. She’s got a black vice president to lean on, she spent eight years with the Obamas. I think at this point, there still could be some racial blind spots and unconscious bias,” Hostin continued. “I think this player is saying what a lot of people are thinking, had it been the black team that lost, perhaps the first lady would not have said that.”
Goldberg said that Hostin was making “assumptions” and that she could not know the real reason behind the invite, while co-host Sara Haines agreed with Goldberg, adding she believes it “wasn’t a thought-out thing.”
“I don’t think she meant anything negative by it,” co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin added. “But I think what stood out to me, we want women’s sports to be treated like men’s sports. Because that’s what makes us to be able to enjoy them. And I feel like, men, we would never be like, ‘Oh, the losing team also gets to come.'”
Co-host Joy Behar chimed in, saying she agreed with the “idea of unconscious bias” but not in the first lady’s case because Biden is a “big supporter of Black Lives Matter” and “getting the black vote out.”
“It was clean up in aisle six real quick,” Hostin offered. “Press secretary came out and said ‘she did not mean that.’”
Goldberg concluded the segment by pointing out that the show’s hosts had experienced similar controversies in the past.
For her part, LSU’s Reese called Jill Biden’s invite “a JOKE” on Twitter.
The NCAA women’s championship game received significant media attention due to off-court incidents. Reese, who was named the most Outstanding Player of this year’s NCAA Tournament, taunted Clark by mimicking Clark’s “you can’t see me” gesture during LSU’s 102-85 win. Reese’s behavior generated criticism from those who accused her of displaying poor sportsmanship.
Supporters of Reese pointed out that Clark had also exhibited some questionable behavior during her time in the tournament but was not criticized for it, leading to accusations of a double standard based on race.
Reese herself discussed the controversy during an appearance on the “Paper Route” podcast and stated that she did not accept Jill Biden’s apology.
🤣🤣🤣A JOKE. https://t.co/9SiOKQNqbj
— Angel Reese (@Reese10Angel) April 3, 2023
“I’m not gonna lie to you, I don’t accept the apology because of, you said what you said… I said what I said. And like, you can’t go back on certain things that you say,” Reese said Tuesday. “I mean, you, like, felt like they should’ve came because of sportsmanship, right? They can have that spotlight. We’ll go to the Obamas, we’ll see Michelle, we’ll see Barack.”