Black Community: Las Vegas Aces’ White House visit missed opportunity for political statement.

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( Last month, 2023 WNBA champions, the Las Vegas Aces made their visit to the White House, which is a tradition for champions of North American sports. Last year, Las Vegas defeated the New York Liberty in the 2023 WNBA Finals to become back-to-back champs. During the visit, Joe Biden complimented the Aces as role models in terms of their representation saying, “It matters to girls and women, finally seeing themselves represented. It matters to all Americans. That’s why as a nation, we need to support women’s sports.” There are a lot of things that are different from the Aces’ visit to the White House in 2023 compared to 2024. Joe Biden and his wife Jill were absent for the team’s visit in 2023 as they were on a family vacation at the time so the Aces were welcomed by Kamala Harris in Biden’s absence. Of course, the perception of Joe Biden in 2024 is significantly different than last year for numerous reasons.

Black Community: Las Vegas Aces’ White House visit missed opportunity for political statement.

2024 is an election year for the U.S. presidential election and voters are not pleased with either likely U.S. presidential candidate of the Republican Party, Donald Trump, or Joe Biden, of the Democratic Party. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, “nearly half of registered voters (49%) say that, if they had the ability to decide the major party candidates for the 2024 election, they would replace both Biden and Trump on the ballot.” In the same survey, Joe Biden is drawing a negative approval rating from people of multiple racial demographics in the U.S. as “majorities of White (66%), Hispanic (63%) and Asian (57%) Americans disapprove of Biden’s job performance. Black adults’ ratings are more positive than negative: A narrow majority of Black adults (55%) say they approve of Biden’s job performance.”

There’s a lot that goes into approval ratings and an individual’s reasons for their negative perception of the U.S. president can have a lot of factors. There is no doubt that Joe Biden has become even more polarizing over the last several months given his support for Zionist Israel against Palestinian liberation. Historically, African/Black organizations like the Black Panther Party have understood the connections of the Palestinian right to self-determination and their own liberation struggle. In recent years, several African/Black athletes of the WNBA have not been shy about voicing their support for social issues.

During the Donald Trump U.S. presidency, NBA and WNBA championship teams did not visit the White House. It is not too surprising given that most of the stars of NBA and WNBA are African/Black, who held similar negative views to Donald Trump that are similar to the majority African/Black population in the U.S. held negative views of Trump. By not attending a Joe Biden administration White House, the Las Vegas Aces had an opportunity to make a strong statement in support of the Palestinian people like so many U.S. college students worldwide have been doing. By going through the “traditional” White House visit, the Las Vegas Aces were more similar to the pampered, out-of-touch celebrities at this year’s Met Gala than the women who have always proclaimed they were more than athletes.

Staff Writer; Mark Hines