The White House on Monday said President Joe Biden will invite the Super Bowl LV-champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and last season’s NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers Lakers, to the White House once it is safe, press secretary Jen Psaki said
Psaki could not provide any updates on whether or not President Biden reached out to the Buccaneers after their Super Bowl victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9, on Sunday night, which featured Tom Brady winning his record-extending seventh championship and fifth Super Bowl MVP award.
It has been a tradition since Richard Nixon called the Super Bowl IV-champion Chiefs in 1970 that the President calls the winner of the Super Bowl after the game.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it dangerous to host large-scale events at the White House, such as the traditional visits by championship-winning sports teams.
Meanwhile, the Lakers said in early January they looked forward to visiting the White House once Biden took office after reigning NBA champions had skipped the ceremonial visits during the four years Biden’s predecessor, former President Donald Trump, held office.
The last NBA team to visit the White House was the Cleveland Cavaliers, who visited President Barack Obama in November of 2016.
Brady visited the White House twice with the New England Patriots during Trump’s presidency, most recently in 2018. A year earlier, the Philadelphia Eagles turned down Trump’s invite to the White House, prompting the former President to disinvite them. The Chiefs, who won Super Bowl LIV last year, were unable to attend because of the COVID-19 pandemic.