Biden will invite Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Lakers to White House 'when it's COVID safe'

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Biden will invite Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Lakers to White House 'when it's COVID safe'

President Joe Biden will invite the Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the National Basketball Association champs, the Los Angeles Lakers,

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President Joe Biden will invite the Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the National Basketball Association champs, the Los Angeles Lakers, to the White House at a future date. 

‘We look forward to inviting the Buccaneers as well as the 2020 NBA champions the Lakers to the White House when it is COVID safe, but I don’t know when that will take place yet,’ press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Monday in the briefing room. 

That means Biden will continue a White House tradition that produced a number of headlines during President Donald Trump’s four years in office, with both players and the president sometimes refusing to meet.   

President Joe Biden will invite the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Lakers to the White House for winning championships, the White House confirmed Monday

President Joe Biden will invite the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Lakers to the White House for winning championships, the White House confirmed Monday 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the visits would happen when it's 'COVID safe'

White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the visits would happen when it’s ‘COVID safe’ 

Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (left) and quarterback Tom Brady (right) celebrate Sunday night after winning the Super Bowl over the Kansas City Chiefs

Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (left) and quarterback Tom Brady (right) celebrate Sunday night after winning the Super Bowl over the Kansas City Chiefs 

Rob 'The Gronk' Gronkowski (left) previously appeared at the White House during President Donald Trump's only NFL team visit, when he played for the New England Patriots. Here he crashed press secretary Sean Spicer's (right) briefing

Rob ‘The Gronk’ Gronkowski (left) previously appeared at the White House during President Donald Trump’s only NFL team visit, when he played for the New England Patriots. Here he crashed press secretary Sean Spicer’s (right) briefing 

The New England Patriots were the first and only NFL team Trump hosted at the White House in April 2017. 

Quarterback Tom Brady, who won his sixth Super Bowl ring Sunday night with the Buccaneers, skipped this particular trip, but Rob Gronkowski, now also a Buccaneer, attended. 

‘The Gronk’ memorably crashed then press secretary Sean Spicer’s briefing.  

But that fall, Trump famously started going to war against NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s efforts to bring attention to police brutality and racism by kneeling during the national anthem.    

In September 2017 at a rally for GOP Senate hopeful Luther Strange, Trump blasted kneeling NFL players for disrespecting the flag. 

This prompted Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry to suggest to his teammates they skip a planned trip to the White House for winning the NBA championship. 

Upon hearing that, Trump disinvited the Warriors instead.  

A month later, Trump pushed Vice President Mike Pence to dramatically exit an Indianapolis Colts game when players put their knees down. 

President Donald Trump hosted the New England Patriots to the White House in April 2017. Five months later he became publicly critical of NFL players who kneeled, with no other Super Bowl team visiting the Trump White House during his other three years in office

President Donald Trump hosted the New England Patriots to the White House in April 2017. Five months later he became publicly critical of NFL players who kneeled, with no other Super Bowl team visiting the Trump White House during his other three years in office 

The Golden State Warriors opted to spend time with President Barack Obama in 2018, after star Steph Curry (bottom left) publicly sparred with President Donald Trump after their 2017 win, leading to the team getting disinvited from the White House

The Golden State Warriors opted to spend time with President Barack Obama in 2018, after star Steph Curry (bottom left) publicly sparred with President Donald Trump after their 2017 win, leading to the team getting disinvited from the White House 

When the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Patriots the next year, Trump invited the team and then canceled when most players refused to go, hosting a bizarre ‘Celebration of America’ event instead to drive the point home that Americans should stand for the flag.    

2019 Super Bowl winners, the New England Patriots, didn’t make a second trip to the White House, nor did the 2020 Super Bowl winning Kansas City Chiefs, as coronavirus lockdowns started weeks after they won the big game. 

Other sports teams did make the trip including the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team, the Washington Nationals baseball team and a bunch of college-level championship winners. 

No NBA team visited the White House during the Trump era.  

The Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship again in 2018 – and decided to visit with former President Barack Obama instead. 

A year later, the Canada-based Toronto Raptors won – and management said a trip to Trump’s White House wasn’t in the cards.  

The 2020 season didn’t conclude until October thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, with LA the winner.           

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden was concerned at reports of maskless crowds celebrating this weekend in Tampa, where the Super Bowl was played

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden was concerned at reports of maskless crowds celebrating this weekend in Tampa, where the Super Bowl was played 

At Sunday night’s Super Bowl, the Buccaneers bested Kansas City 31 to 9.   

‘Very exciting, the outcome of the Super Bowl, I guess, if you’re a fan of the Buccaneers,’ Psaki said Monday from the podium. 

During the traditional CBS pre-Super Bowl interview, Biden seemingly sided with the Chief’s quarterback Patrick Mahomes over 43-year old Brady, who’s a friend of Trump. 

‘Obviously, Brady is a great quarterback,’ the president said. ‘Mahomes seems like he’s got a lot of potential, and so I’d probably take a shot with the young guy who [people] didn’t expect as much from.’  

Psaki also reported that the president was disturbed by mask-less crowds.  

She said that Biden and other members of the administration were concerned to see pictures and photos ‘that show many, many people without masks in close distance with one another at the height of a pandemic.’ 

A number of images went viral that showed maskless partiers taking to the streets in Tampa, Florida, where the Super Bowl was held. 

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