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Obama gets grief for male-only basketball games

President Obama loves basketball. But his failure to include women in the basketball games is getting him criticism.

By Jimmy Orr / October 25, 2009

An avid basketball fan, President Obama hosted a basketball game at the White House last week but didn't invite any women to play.

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President Obama's in hot water again. And it's that same old nemesis.

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No, not Rush Limbaugh. The other really round culprit. You know, the basketball. Some critics are upset because he's not more inclusive when he participates in the sport.

It's not the first time the president has received criticism for his interest in basketball. Or his preference for men's basketball, that is. Last March, a columnist for USA Today roundly criticized the president for not filling out a NCAA women's basketball bracket -- like he did for their male counterparts.

No girls allowed

Now the kerfuffle is over a game the president hosted at the White House last week. Although he reached out to Members of Congress and his Cabinet to play, all of the invitees had one thing in common -- they were guys.

It's certainly understandable why the president loves the game. After all, he's from Indonesia Chicago where the greatest player ever to play the game graced the court. And if you don't remember that, Michael Jordan will remind you of that (and then he'll criticize you and everyone else for, well, everything).

But, shouldn't the president extend invites to both sexes?

Old boys club?

NBC White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie asked him that earlier this week. She asked him if his preference for all-male hoops sends the wrong signal. Or as she put it, "Some people might look at it and say, 'Gosh, there's the old boys club again.'"

That's something the president dismisses.

"I gotta say, I think this is bunk," Obama told Guthrie. "Basically, the House of Representatives has a basketball game and they had wanted to play here at the White House court and we invited them."

"I don't know if there are women who— were Members of Congress who play basketball on a regular basis," Obama continued. "I don't think there are. You know, I don't think sends any kind of message or signal whatsoever."

Male vs. Female

That's where there's plenty of disagreement. A conversation on MSNBC's "Cup of Joe" last week might provide some insight as to how people are viewing the issue.

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