Testing out the new gear the best way possible. pic.twitter.com/yNGkLSg4O0— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) June 6, 2018
WNBA champions Minnesota Lynx were not invited to the White House this year. But instead of complaining about President Donald Trump’s snub, they decided to give back to the community.
Maya Moore, Lynx’s starting forward, was invited to the White House three times in the past when she and her teammates celebrated their victory with President Barack Obama. But after they won the title in October, Trump’s invitation never came.
So instead of spending time at the White House, Moore and the rest of the team went to Payne Elementary School in southeast Washington, D.C., where they donated several Jordan brand shoes to hundreds of elementary school kids.
“I’m so ridiculously blessed to have so memories at the White House, so many great ones,” Moore said during the event. “This will probably be more unique. We made some great memories with these kids. … We’ll definitely remember this.”
In July 2016, the team showed up for a game wearing black-and-white warm-up shirts urging action on police brutality.
With the words “Change starts with us. Justice & accountability” on the front and “Black Lives Matter," as well as the Dallas Police Department emblem and the names of the two police victims Alton Sterling and Philando Castile on the back, the shirts got a lot of attention from the media. But perhaps that show of respect for those who can no longer speak for themselves did not sit well with then-candidate Trump.
.@minnesotalynx are celebrating their #wnba championship at Payne Elementary today in DC. The reaction when Cheryl Reeve told the kids they’d all be getting Jordans today was veeeeeery good pic.twitter.com/HZs49EzZbU— Ava Wallace (@avarwallace) June 6, 2018
It was the Lynx captains’ idea to come to DC a day early for community service in lieu of White House invite. @linzsports asked what patriotism meant to Reeve. Simple answer: “This is patriotism.” pic.twitter.com/iHJGCnmdCT— Ava Wallace (@avarwallace) June 6, 2018
The WNBA champions @minnesotalynx may not have been invited to the White House but they showed what true champions are by serving DC kids today. Good to be with them there & on the team bus! pic.twitter.com/FJrZHUpATR— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) June 6, 2018
At the event Wednesday, the team spent time hanging out and playing with kids, showing them the attention and care Trump failed to show the team. Even Minnesota’s Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith were in attendance, talking to the kids.
Before the team handed out sneakers and Nike socks to the children in a partnership with Samaritan’s Feet, forward Rebekkah Brunson and Coach Cheryl Reeve addressed the students at the auditorium.
They told reporters the event was an extension of the team’s community service.
“I think they understand their power, their ability to enact change. We were taught long ago, when you stand idly by, change is not going to come,” Reeve said.
“Patriotism is subjective. I’m from a military family, so I know how I was raised and what patriotism means. But service is a form of patriotism, giving and doing things for others in our own country. We’re not in Minnesota, we certainly serve our communities there, but this is what patriotism look like,” she said.
Saying that the action the team took in 2016 was part of the service they hope to provide to their communities, Reeve was then asked if they would have gone to the White House if invited by the president.
Instead of answering, all Reeve said was that she was excited to be where she was.
Can anyone blame her? Spending quality time with elementary school kids beats having to hear Trump talk about himself. Anyone would agree.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters