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Then-Vice President Joe Biden at a game between the Army-Navy football game on December 8, 2012. Photo: Hunter Martin/Getty Images

The Biden administration is unlikely to leverage sports as a culture war in the same way that President Trump's did.

The big picture: The longstanding tradition of champions visiting the White House — dating back to the 1860s but becoming a more regular practice in the past half century — changed significantly in the past four years.

  • By the numbers: Just one of the 14 major basketball champions under Trump visited the White House, and most weren't even invited.
  • Across other sports, champions who did accept their invitations were put under a cultural and political microscope. Which players opted out of the visit, and why, tended to dominate the storyline.
  • Moreover, some teams used their snubs as an opportunity to make not-so-subtle statements. The 2018 Warriors, for example, toured the National Museum of African American History and Culture before hanging out with President Obama at his D.C. office.

We don't know how Biden will proceed, but the two presidents' vastly different relationship to sports offers interesting insight.

  • Trump has long used sports for professional and political gain. He owned a team in the fledgling USFL and has 17 golf courses around the world; 14 of 24 Medals of Freedom he awarded went to sports figures; his vitriol toward Colin Kaepernick and the NFL spanned his entire term.
  • Biden has a more sentimental view of athletics. He's long used sports for personal growth, crediting them with instilling the confidence to overcome his stutter and delivering his family a sense of healing over the years.

Between the lines: The sports headlines these men choose to engage with, and the manner in which they do so, speaks volumes.

The bottom line: After the election was called for Biden in November, Draymond Green and LeBron James traded tweets to celebrate the White House's pending return as a champions' destination. The tide, it seems, is turning.

Go deeper

34 mins ago - World

In photos: Deadly Cyclone Tauktae leaves trail of destruction across India

A police officer helps a public transport driver cross a flooded street due to heavy rain caused by Tropical Cyclone Tauktae in Mumbai, India, on May 17. Photo: Ashish Vaishnav/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tropical Cyclone Tauktae killed at least 16 people in India after making landfall in Gujarat Monday, packing 100mph winds, and sweeping across Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, per Reuters.

The big picture: The storm unleashed heavy rains and winds as authorities continued to grapple with surging infection rates and deaths from COVID-19. Over 200,000 people were evacuated from Gujarat, and ports, airports and vaccination centers shut in the state and Mumbai, Reuters reports. Tauktae weakened from a Category 3 storm into a "severe cyclonic storm" Tuesday morning local time.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Yellen wants business to help foot infrastructure bill

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is heading into the belly of the beast Tuesday and asking the business community to support President Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan during a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Why it matters: By trying to persuade a skeptical and targeted audience, Yellen is signaling the president’s commitment to raising corporate taxes to pay for his plan. Republican senators, critical to a potential bipartisan deal, oppose any corporate tax increase.

3 hours ago - World

Schumer's Israel vise

Sen. Chuck Schumer addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March 2014. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's longtime support for Israel puts him on a collision course with the progressive wing of his party as the conflict between Israel and Hamas worsens.

Why it matters: This is the toughest political position the New York Democrat has been in since becoming majority leader. The fighting in the Middle East is dividing his party — and creating a clear rift among its different wings.