East Space

3:35 P.M. EDT
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Remember to — be sure to, be seated.  Thank you.  Effectively, I’ll tell you what, the very last time I was in a area with this many fantastic athletes, I was having meal with my granddaughters.  (Laughter.) 
 
Glimpse, I convey to you what, it’s an honor to have you listed here.  I suggest, it actually is a authentic honor to have you all below.  You have no thought.  I really don’t know how these men got in this damn picture, but — (laughter) — it’s all right.  They are all right. 
 
And, look, I’m honored to welcome to the White Property the 2020 WNBA Champions, the Seattle Storm.  (Applause.)
 
You are an inspiring staff, and you represent a hell of a metropolis — a terrific American town and a groundbreaking league.  The only all-feminine possession team in pro sports activities — Lisa, Ginny, and Dawn: Congratulations.  Congratulations.  (Applause.)
 
I may want function soon after this.  I’d be a superior ball boy.  I can — (laughter) — I can (inaudible).
 
Commissioner Cathy, it’s wonderful to have you right here.  Thank you for your management of the WNBA, and now celebrating 25 several years of excellence.
 
And to the gamers, congratulations and thank you for becoming you.  And thank you for believing in 1 another. 
 
You know, the Bidens are a sports family members.  We’re a single of — I have — one of our granddaughters, Maisy, is a good athlete, loves to enjoy basketball, but also is all — very first team all-condition in two distinct sports and is now at Penn playing soccer. 
 
I have — and I have a granddaughter who — one more granddaughter who’s a hell of a ball player as nicely. 
 
I have a niece — my sister’s daughter — who was to start with workforce all-American and all-Ivy in lacrosse.
 
And I can go on and on. 
 
We all assumed we were being pretty superior athletes — the gentlemen in our loved ones.  I was not a lousy ball participant.  I wasn’t a terrible football and baseball participant — my brothers.  But I received to acknowledge, all the women of all ages are greater than us.  (Laughter.)  All of them.  You imagine I’m joking, I’m not.  They’re first fee.
 
And our White Home is comprehensive of athletes, such as some of my best aides.  Annie Tomasini performed point guard at Boston College.  Annie — where are you, Annie?  I’m likely to embarrass you.  Stand up, Annie.  (Applause.) 
 
I’m heading to divert in this article in just a second.  Yet another person, who’s a great person that was doing work with me when I was making an attempt to get the nomination a hundred years back when we were being in Iowa — which was an adventure, and we ended up likely from a person county to the subsequent.  And this guy is 6-five.  I don’t want to give you his name.  He’s a hell of an athlete.  He’s six-foot-five. 
 
And he was dri- — he was the driver, and Annie was in the again generating confident we knew exactly where we were likely.  And we confirmed up to this — this high school wherever we ended up heading to converse, but it turned out we ended up un- — we did not want to spoil our status.  We were being early.  And we — that ruins my status, for the reason that I’m commonly constantly late. 
 
And we pulled up, and we pulled into the college parking lot.  And there was a basketball, underneath a person of the baskets, sitting there.  And we were the only a person in the par- — we ended up — it turned out we received the time completely wrong.  We were about an hour early. 
 
So, I change to this dude, Mark, and I mentioned, “Mark, see that ball in…”  And I said — I stated, “I wager you 20 bucks Annie can conquer you in superior heels.”  (Laughter.)  And she reported, “Oh, give me a crack.”  I signify, I mentioned, “No, arrive on.  Let’s go to 10.  You know, winner retains the ball, and you preserve going.”  Annie is out — goes out in high heels and blew him away 10 to 3.  (Laughter.)  And he was not a bad athlete. 
 
But anyway — in any case, Annie is very good at all the things she does.  (Laughter.) 
 
And Susan Rice — Ambassador Rice, she performed high university basketball, and her niece is the leading of the higher faculty gamers — one of the prime large college gamers in the region and could just be in the W one day.  Wherever — where are you, Susan — Ambassador Rice?  (Applause.) 
 
Her expertise is international plan, so I questioned her to acquire more than domestic plan for me.  But, in any case, Susan, I’m nervous to satisfy your niece. 
 
This is a massive day for so many of us, such as for two good customers of Congress right here today: Represent- — Representative Rick Larsen from the point out of Washington’s Second District.  The place are you, Rick?  There you are, Rick.  Occur on, stand up.  Let me see you, Rick.  (Applause.)  And Representative Kim Schrier.  Kim, thank you.  And welcome, Kim.  (Applause.)  She represents Washington’s Eighth District.  And it is her 35th birthday these days.  Delighted birthday. 
 
And this business is no stranger to good results: four WNBA championships, tied for the most of any franchise and 5 players are Olympians — two from Australia and a few from the United States.  You know, Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird, Jewell Loyd: Thank you for bringing the gold residence.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  
 
My spouse, Jill, led our delegation to Tokyo, and it was a single of the wonderful honors of her existence.  And what you achieved there was incredible, winning the seventh straight basketball gold for Group United states of america.  Let us give a spherical for them.  (Applause.)
 
Jewell’s 1st gold, Breanna’s second, and Sue’s fifth.  But who’s counting?  (Laughter.)  Who’s counting?  The history for any basketball player that played — male or females — that she shares with Diana.  And I just believe it is unbelievable. 
 
Again in March, we had the honor of welcoming Sue’s fiancée and — fiancée, Megan — justification me, Megan came and we experimented with to get her outdoors actively playing soccer with us, but it did not get the job done quite properly, but — (laughter) — simply because we could not preserve up. 
 
And they arrived to the White Dwelling to mark Equal Pay Working day.  And it’s long previous owing for Equal Pay out Working day for females in America. 
 
Between the two of them, they share Olympic medals, Globe Cup titles, the WNBA Championship, and previously mentioned all, they define integrity and character.
 
As President, as an American, I’m proud of how they’ve represented us.  And they symbolize the best of what The united states stands for, as does this entire group.
 
In the WNBA, amidst a yr compared with any other, this crew satisfied the instant, sweeping through the playoffs and finals in opposition to Minnesota and Las Vegas, and six wins and no losses.  Masterful defense, shooting, and teamwork.  Breanna earning the Finals MVP that was joined by her Olympic MVP award. 
 
And, by the way, Breanna is from Syracuse, New York.  I went to Syracuse.  How appear you did not?  You went to Connecticut.  (Laughter.)  I recall.  I try to remember.
 
MS. STEWART:  I’m sorry.
 
THE PRESIDENT:  I just want you to know — just don’t forget — what significant school did you go to in Syracuse? 
 
MS. STEWART:  Cicero-North Syracuse.
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, I — you know, it was a terrific disappointment.  (Laughter.)  But you know it’s correct.  I’m not joking.  (Laughter.)  You know it is real.  Every person knew how incredible she was when she was in superior university. 
 
But what’s even much more specific is she and her spouse just became moms for their new newborn, Ruby.  Congratulations.  (Applause.)
 
A WBA — a WNBA championship, Olympic gold, and a treasured Ruby. And what a 12 months, Breanna.  It is a — I — it’s a hell of year you have experienced, kid. 
 
And what helps make this crew extraordinary is they do not just gain game titles, they transform life: encouraging individuals to get vaccinated so we can conquer this pandemic speaking out and standing up for racial justice and voting legal rights supporting schooling and membership software for youthful folks, and — justification me, mentorship systems for young people today and preventing to guard trans youth from an epidemic of violence and discrimination. 
 
That is what winners do.  They shine the mild.  They lift persons up.  They’re a force for change.  Which is the Seattle Storm.  Which is the WNBA.  That is what they do.
 
For 25 years, the WNBA has been switching what is probable for tens of millions of females and girls all across the entire world.  You give persons — you give them braveness. 
 
You know, I can say as a lot as I want — from the time my two daughters were being born — that you can do anything at all a person can do.  It is just one issue for somebody to say that and maintain pounding that in the head of your five granddaughters as nicely.  But guess what?  Right until they see it, right until they enjoy, it turns into serious then. 
 
Which is why, by the way, she’s — and comes about to be in Asia for me correct now — but that is why we have a woman Vice President of United States of The us who’s heading to be — we’re likely to have some presidents rather before long. 
 
And redefining what sports can indicate in the lifestyle of a group and the never-ending operate of developing a more just, a extra equal, and a extra great union. 
 
That is why, as a country, we need to aid women’s sports, not just in the course of the Olympics, but through the year — through each individual year — by exhibiting up in man or woman and looking at on Tv set, with a lot more sponsorships and programming to enable develop the small business of women’s sports. 
 
And these females are wonderful athletes.  They are the greatest in the world.  And we honor them by exhibiting up for them.
 
To the complete Storm loved ones, thank you all and congratulations.  And best of luck for this — the rest of the period.
 
Now, I want to ask Storm co-owner Ginny Gilder to come up and say a handful of phrases, if you will, Ginny.  (Applause.) 
 
MS. GILDER:  Ah, I get to just take this off. 
 
THE PRESIDENT:  I forgot my mask.  (Inaudible.)
 
MS. GILDER:  Oh, primarily if you arrive around me. 
 
THE PRESIDENT:  (Inaudible) what did I do with my mask?  There you go. 
 
MS. GILDER:  You fantastic?  (Laughter.) 
 
Every championship pro-sports activities group in reaching the pinnacle of athletic excellence is remarkable.  That is definitely the circumstance with the 2020 WNBA champions, who quite substantially ran absent with the trophy.  The gals right before you swept by means of the playoffs and won the final video game of the finals by around 30 details. 
 
The climb to the top rated is often steep, but 2020’s climb was extraordinarily so, thanks to a world wide health and fitness disaster and national social unrest.  The precariously tippy-top rated of its pinnacle stood in scarce air.  Which is why I’m so grateful and happy, Mr. President, that you invited this team of women of all ages to celebrate and highlight their achievements.  They are certainly about so substantially extra than basketball. 
 
Playing even though a pandemic raged by means of the entire world, sequestered in a tightly controlled atmosphere, significantly from family, buddies, and admirers.  Surrounded by fellow players and league officials — breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  No interruptions from the organization of basketball — besides, of class, there was almost nothing but distraction.
 
These athletes did not enter the bubble and depart at the rear of the soreness, grief, and fury of the motion for social change that was washing throughout our country, stirred up by the ongoing crisis of police killings of Black people today. 
 
In fact, they did the useless-opposite.  The women of all ages of the W waded into the middle of this motion.  They utilized their enjoy on the court docket and their eloquence off, not merely to need modify, but to deliver engagement and lead to alter.  They channeled their emotion into action, developing “Say Her Name” as the centerpiece of the overall season to battle for justice for Breonna Taylor, bolstering voter registration across the country, altering the electricity equilibrium in the U.S. Senate by aiding to elect two new senators from the condition of Georgia.
 
By way of — (applause) — by way of their targeted attempts, these leaders modeled how to reply in hard instances and under no circumstances, at any time settle.  They presented concrete good reasons to hold on to hope, and they modified the upcoming of our state. 
 
That’s not hyperbole. 
 
It is also not hyperbole to say this championship team is a winner of champions.  In Seattle, inspired and educated by our players, our franchise formalized its personal record of advocacy by generating a social justice system, Power4Alter. 
 
Right now, Crystal Langhorne, just one of our two-time WNBA champions and now retired, sales opportunities that energy as a member of our govt crew.  I’ve requested her to appear up and give you just a flavor of the perform that she’s foremost. 
 
Thank you, President Biden, for recognizing these ladies, for supporting lead the way to a much more equitable and just tomorrow.  (Applause.)
 
MS. LANGHORNE:  Superior afternoon, every person.  We are genuinely honored to be in this article for our achievements on the court docket, but I consider I can speak for all of us from the Storm group: We are extremely happy of who we are off the courtroom.
 
Power4Adjust focuses on creating a a lot more equitable modern society — on amplifying Black women, BIPOC youth, and the LGBTQ+ local community.  But it’s not just about amplifying it’s about investing into communities that have been underserved and doing work with the organizations that have been leading the way in this room. 
 
This summer time, we worked with our community partners and with each other invested $100,000 in the City League of Metropolitan Seattle, matching what we invested to the NAACP’s Lawful Defense Fund very last yr. 
 
Social justice are not able to fade into the track record.  We have to carry on to amplify, invest, and do whatsoever we can to be a force for transform. 
 
Currently being the first women’s crew to visit this administration — an administration that aligns with so numerous of our values — is this sort of an honor.  So, thank you. 
 
And now I’m proud to switch this over to my previous teammates — our 3 Olympic gold medalists — Sue Chicken, Jewell Loyd, and Breanna Stewart who will existing President Biden with his jersey.  (Applause.)
 
MS. Bird:  To start with of all, thank — I want to thank every person right here who helped place this together and convey us to the White Dwelling.  It’s special to be right here. 
 
On behalf of the Storm, the WNBA as a league, President Biden, thank you so significantly for welcoming us into the White Dwelling.  As people today who are component of women’s sports activities, it feels very good to be back again in this area and to have our achievements celebrated in this way. 
 
I’d be remiss if I did not — you know, I wouldn’t be definitely symbolizing our league if I didn’t speak about the get the job done that still requires to be performed in our country, in our communities, but also the do the job that we have been accomplishing.  And I believe we’re heading to proceed to do it due to the fact this group is unique, and that’s what created the 2020 period so unique.
 
As Ginny talked about, as Lang talked about, we did both equally, and it’s what manufactured this championship so exclusive, since it was hard perform.  This is tough get the job done. 
 
So, thank you to you, President Biden, and your administration for all the function you are continuing to do.  To the group: I mean, I rock with you fellas so challenging.  The 2020 period was incredible, and it’s just past to be listed here appropriate now. 
 
So, it is my honor and privilege to current you —
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.
 
MS. Chicken:  Do you want Stewie to current you this jersey?  And we thank you so considerably for possessing us here.  It is these types of an honor.  
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.) 
 
3:52 P.M. EDT