President Barack Obama honored the 2011 WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx today during a brief ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
After summarizing their path to the title last season, which I'm sure we're all familiar with, he made some similarly familiar comments about the value of the Lynx and women's athletics in general in providing role models.
...I was saying to these folks as I was backstage, as the husband of a tall, good-looking woman -- (laughter) -- and as the father of two tall, fabulous girls, it is just wonderful to have these young ladies as role models. There's something about women's athletics -- we know for a fact that when girls are involved in athletics, they do better across the board. They're more confident. They do better in school. They have less social problems.
We know all the statistics, but what's also true is that our women athletes just present themselves so well and are such great ambassadors for the game. And as I was pointing out, you don't see them on Sports Center doing stupid stuff. (Laughter.) They play the game the right way. They compete fiercely, but they're good -- great sportswomen. And so they're just wonderful examples for my daughters and my niece, and for so many parents I think we all feel really, really great about what the WNBA has accomplished, but what this team in particular has accomplished.
Even if he's made rather similar comments before, it's an important message that has significance beyond pro sports and it's a nice statement in support of the WNBA and women's sports in general coming from the highest office in the land.