By Ashleigh Fields,
AFRO Assistant Editor
The White House welcomed the Kansas City Chiefs for the first time ever on June 5. The visit came after the professional football team’s 38-35 Super Bowl victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Feb. 12. The team has earned the title of Super Bowl champions a total of three times in NFL history.
Their first championship, won in 1970 against the Minnesota Vikings, occurred a decade before the U.S. President’s tradition of hosting NFL champions at the White House began. They didn’t taste victory again until 2020 during the global COVID-19 pandemic which limited celebrations.
“When the media experts and NFL draft picks said that maybe the Chiefs’ run was over and that maybe the division was just too tough, the guys behind me proved the naysayers wrong,” said Mark Donovan, president of the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs have been a force in the league, toting 64 wins in the last five years. Despite this record, multiple analysts favored the Philadelphia Eagles to win this year’s Super Bowl title–but the Chiefs prevailed.
At the congratulatory event on the South Lawn, Biden first held a moment of silence to mourn the loss of Kansas City Chief matriarch Norma Hunt, 85. She was the wife of Kansas City Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt, who passed away in 2006.
“…Norma was known as the ‘First Lady of Football.’ She attended every — every single Super Bowl in history, all 57, including the past one, where her Chiefs won,” said Biden.
Shortly after recognizing Hunt, Biden went on to proclaim Patrick Mahomes as “one of the greatest quarterbacks of his generation” — and not just his generation, “any generation.”
Ironically, Mahomes graduated from Whitehouse High School in Texas. His excellence on the field there led him to the White House in the nation’s capital.
“It’s surreal to be here– I mean I’ve never been to Washington, D.C. So, I’ve never even got to see it from the outside; the White House or any of the monuments and memorials,” said Mahomes. “I don’t think I could have ever imagined it being as cool as it was.”
Fellow player and tight-end Travis Kelce, who recently hosted Saturday Night Live in March, said that Biden’s personalized tour of the White House was a memory that would last forever.
“Hearing President Biden talk about the pieces and the things that mean a lot to him in the Oval Office and the West Wing was pretty eye-opening. You can tell he’s in it for the right reasons,” said Kelce.
Nick Bolton concluded with sentimental comments about having team members old and new join the official White House visit.
“We got new guys coming in and we’ve got guys that laid the groundwork for us,” said Bolton. “Those guys came in every single day– especially for my first two years in the league– and kind of showed me the ropes of how to be better every single day. Having those guys back in the building was huge for us.”