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2020 WNBA Champion Seattle Storm White House

 

 

WNBA’s Seattle Storm visited President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at the White House on Monday, August 23rd to cap off the celebration for their 2020 Championship. This comes after a challenging season in the bubble amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing fight for social justice 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. President Biden congratulated the team and noted three players; Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, and Jewell Loyd, for bringing home a gold medal with Team USA following the Tokyo Olympics.President Biden 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, 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 ur

ged people to invest in underserved communities and work with organizations leading the way.

Seattle Storm organization presented Biden with a honorary jersey and he kneeled in front of them for a photo op.

Following the ceremony, I spoke with forward and Olympian Breanna Stewart about the team’s continued efforts to bring awareness to the current social climate like the Black Lives Matter movement. Stewart said, “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.”

I also asked guard and 5X Olympic gold medal winner Sue Bird about inclusion in sports to which she responded, “people are missing out.” Adding it benefits organizations to have women “in the room.”

After that, Crystal Langhorne spoke with me about her transition from the court to the front office, saying it’s been smooth. She went on to talk about impact she creates with Force4Change. She said, “I feel like we can do so many things. We’re amplifying black voices, blackpac youth, the lgbtq+ community, we’re supporting black businesses.

During the Storm’s visit to DC, they beat the Washington Mystics 85-78. Breanna Stewart put up 20 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists in that game. The Seattle Storm is looking to defend their title and repeat as champions.

 

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