Joe Biden

Remarks Honoring the 2024 Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs and an Exchange With Reporters

May 31, 2024

The President. Welcome back! Welcome back to the White House, Super Bowl LVIII champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.

The first team in 20 years to win back to back. Winning back to back—I kind of like that. [Laughter]

I know—I know you'll—[laughter]—I know you led a—a future Hall of Famer head coach, quarterback, tight end, defensive tackle, but I think the secret to this team's success is a GM, an offensive coordinator, a pass game coordinator, and they all played great—at a great—the greatest school in America, my alma mater football team, the University of Delaware. That's why you're all so good. [Laughter]

I want to welcome all the Chiefs fans here today: Governor Kelly; Members of Congress, including my good friend Congressman Cleaver; Mayor Lucas, Mayor Garner, and all the other elected officials from Missouri and Kansas. Thank you for being here.

At last year's White House Super Bowl celebration, I said this team was building a dynasty, which means everyone's coming to you. After starting this season red hot, you all had your share of struggles. And when the doubters questioned whether you could pull it off again—believe me, I know what that feels like. But anyway. [Laughter]

But I don't think anybody is doubting you now. You fought hard. You kept the faith.

Three All-Pros; three [five; White House correction] Pro-Bowlers; three resilient—a resilient offense; top defense led by one of the best coordinators in the game, and led by one of the best defensive players in the game, Chris Jones.

A true team: eight straight division titles through a tough playoff run.

You know, and you felt frigid temperatures: minus 4 degrees at kickoff in the home game against Miami. That was in—I thought that was in Miami. That was a joke. [Laughter]. Wind chills under 20 degrees in Buffalo. And when you froze them out in Baltimore, clinching the A—fourth AFC title in 5 years.

And then, in the Super Bowl, down double digits against San Francisco, everyone stepped up. And with the unstoppable 13-play drive in overtime, Patrick, the "Comeback King"—not kid, king—led the comeback team for all ages.

I'll never forget, I watched on Marine One when I was landing on the South Lawn, coming back from overseas, to the White House.

But then—but just then Kansas City was celebrating your incredible win, we saw pride—pride giving way to tragedy. A loving mom and a beloved local DJ was gunned down. Dozens were injured. Eleven kids in the hospital.

And amid the chaos, this team stepped up again. Trey helped pull people to safety. James, who lost his own father to gun violence, reassured kids they'd be okay.

One teen remembers Coach Reid giving him a hug, telling him, "Just breathe. Just breathe."

When one boy was separated from his dad, Clyde helped keep him from harm. The boy's dad later said, and I quote, "You can be an athlete for only so long, but you can be a great human being for the rest of your life." And Clyde is exceptional.

I couldn't have said it better. This team is exceptional.

You know, as a country, we have to do more to stop the tragic shootings before they happen.

But let me close with this. Last year, I talked about how, after winning the Super Bowl, many of these players went up to Coach Reid and asked what they could to be—do better, to be better. Even at the peak of their success, they were looking for ways to work harder, to dig deeper, to improve.

Everyone watching, especially our children: That's the powerful lesson about sports and the Nation. We're a great Nation because we're a good people. We never give up. We look out for one another. We leave no one behind. That's America.

And I've never been more optimistic about our future. We just have to remember who we are. We're the United States of America, and there's nothing—nothing—we can't do when we do it together.

So God bless you all, and may God protect our troops.

Now I'm going to turn it over to the Chiefs, but I—you know, I'd have Travis come up here, but God only knows what he'd say. [Laughter] Travis, come here. It's all yours, pal.

Tight end Travis M. Kelce. My fellow Americans—[laughter]—it's nice to see you all yet again.

I'm not going to lie, President Biden, they told me if I came up here, I'd get tased. So I'm going to go back to my spot. All right? [Laughter]

The President. All right.

Mr. Kelce. It's good to see you.

The President. Now I'm going to turn it over to the chairman and CEO of the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs, Clark Hunt.

Clark, the floor is yours, pal.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Clark K. Hunt. Thank you. Thank you so much.

The President. You want me to move that out of the way for you?

Mr. Hunt. All good.

Mr. President, on behalf of our family and the entire Kansas City Chiefs organization, thank you so much for having us this afternoon. It is a tremendous honor to be here as we celebrate the fourth Super Bowl championship in Chiefs history.

I want to thank the members of the President's staff who have helped make this possible and the members of the Missouri and Kansas congressional delegations who are celebrating with us today.

As a family, we feel very blessed by the Lord. And I am proud to be here today on the South Lawn with my wife Tavia and my sister Sharron and several members of our extended family.

One year ago, it so happened that the team visited the White House the day after my mother passed away. Of course, anytime we are celebrating a Chiefs victory, I always think about my mom and dad.

I want to take a moment to say thank you, President Biden, for the very kind words you shared about my mother last year. That meant a lot to our family.

The amazing thing about sports is how they can bring a community together. Over the past few years, the men behind me have elevated the status of Kansas City and united football fans across the country and throughout the world.

There's a lot that can divide us today. But for so many of us, sports provide a unifying joy that we all need.

I'm incredibly proud of our players and coaches. This season, with a target on their backs, they overcame adversity and got through perhaps the toughest group of playoff opponents in league history. They have etched their names in the NFL history books as just the second back-to-back Super Bowl championship team this century.

I'm also incredibly proud of our amazing fans. They have rightfully earned their reputation as one of the best fan bases in all of professional sports. One of the things that I've enjoyed most about our championship run has been the support of the "Chiefs Kingdom."

Lastly, I'm humbled to work with a superb leadership group. Team President Mark Donovan, General Manager Brett Veach, and Head Coach Andy Reid. That is a Hall of Fame leadership team.

We have greatly enjoyed our time here today. And we look forward to the challenge of making this an annual trip. [Laughter]

Now, I would like to ask Coach Andy Reid to join me on the podium. We have a little gift for the President.

[At this point, the President was presented with a team helmet.]

Head Coach Andrew W. Reid. I'm not sure it's going to fit.

The President. I tell you what, man—well, thank you.

Mr. Kelce. Put it on. [Laughter]

Participants. [Inaudible]

Participant. Do it! Do it!

[The President put on the helmet.]

The President. [Inaudible] Thank you all very much.

[The President removed the helmet and greeted team members. After leaving the podium, he responded to a reporter's questions as follows.]

Conviction of Former President Donald J. Trump for Falsifying Business Records/Criminal Justice System

Q. Do you think this conviction helps Trump in the election?

The President. I have no idea.

Q. Are you worried that this could happen to you someday: somebody comes up with some charges and tries to bring you into court after your term?

The President. Not at all. I didn't do anything wrong. The system still works.

Q. And when Trump says you're just trying to bruise him, what do you say? Politically. Politically. He thinks you're pulling the strings behind the scenes, doing all this to help yourself.

The President. I didn't know I was that powerful.

NOTE: The President spoke at 4:31 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Patrick L. Mahomes II, quarterback, Matt Nagy, offensive coordinator, Joe Bleymaier, pass game coordinator, Joe Thuney, guard, Trent McDuffie, cornerback, Chris Jones, defensive tackle, Creed Humphrey, center, Steve Spagnuolo, defensive coordinator, Henry L. "Trey" Smith III, offensive lineman, James Winchester, long snapper, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, running back, Kansas City Chiefs; Gov. Laura J. Kelly of Kansas; Mayor Quinton D. Lucas of Kansas City, MO; Mayor Tyrone Garner of Kansas City, KS; Gabe Wallace, student, Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, KS, who was comforted by Coach Reid after the shooting at the Super Bowl parade in Kansas City, MO, on February 14; and Zack Cotten, who was shielded by Mr. Edwards-Helaire during the shooting when he was separated from his father Chris Cotten. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on June 1. A portion of these remarks could not be verified because the audio was incomplete.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks Honoring the 2024 Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/372495

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