LSU coach Kim Mulkey APOLOGIZES after her women’s basketball team left the court before the American national anthem was played at Iowa game: ‘I’m sorry – that’s nothing intentionally done

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Kim Mulkey, the coach of LSU’s women’s basketball team, apologized after her stars left the court before the American national anthem was played in the NCAA game they would go on to lose against Iowa.  The LSU Tigers were beaten 94-87 by the Hawkeyes in Albany, where the latter’s star player Caitlin Clark put on a 41-point masterclass to help her team advance to the Final Four of this year’s NCAA tournament.

Yet earlier in the evening, footage on social media appeared to show that LSU players skipped the national anthem before it played out at Times Union Center.  Iowa stars, meanwhile, stood hand-in-hand while taking in the Star-Spangled Banner just minutes before the Elite8 fixture.  When asked about the incident in the aftermath of her team’s loss, Mulkey said: ‘Honestly, I don’t even know when the anthem was played.

‘We kind of have a routine when they’re on the floor and they come off at the 12-minute mark.  ‘I don’t know, we come in and we do our pregame stuff. I’m sorry, listen, that’s nothing intentionally done.’  Chessa Bouche, a reporter for Baton Rouge Proud News, said on X on Monday night that the team is always in the locker room when the national anthem is played before games.

‘If you ever go to an actual LSU game you’ll see that they’re never on the court for the anthem. It’s that simple. I’ve covered them for three years & they’ve never been,’ she said.  ‘Neither LSU basketball or LSU football are out for the national anthem. That’s the point. This wasn’t a one time incident. Clarifying for the national media who doesn’t cover either team day in & dat (sic) out. That’s is all!’

A follower replied to Bouche saying: ‘Clearly, a lot of people care. If you’re going to do this, then be prepared to take the heat and the hate. It’s their right to not be present for them anthem and its also critics right to hate on that.’  Bouch replied: ‘Well said’ with the 100 underlined in red emoji.  After a video showing their empty end of the court surfaced online, fans were quick to hit out at LSU for not listening to the anthem on the night.

Fans were left furious after footage surfaced of LSU stars missing the anthem on social media

‘LSU is a complete disgrace,’ one said on X. ‘Their entire team should be expelled.’  Another wrote: ‘Bad optics for the LSU team. How could they do such a thing?’  A third put: ‘They are a disgrace and should be kicked off the team!’  A fourth claimed: ‘If the team doesn’t show for all parts of the game, including the anthem , disqualification is the only way forward. No more of this silliness.’

While one simply said: ‘Glad to see that LSU got their a***s handed to them.’  In a rematch of the most-watched game in women’s basketball history, the 2023 NCAA Championship, coach Lisa Bluder’s Hawkeyes outperformed Mulkey’s Tigers for a 94-87 victory.  But Mulkey said when she reflects on how her team performed throughout the competition, she would feel only one thing.

‘Proud,’ she said. ‘I’m going to feel very proud. I’m going to think of the little things that we overcame, that put us in an Elite 8.  ‘You’re one game away from going back to the Final Four. I’m going to eventually think of how did we get here. How did we get here? What did we do as a team and as a staff to get to this moment?’

But coach Mulkey and her players have made headlines on and off the court. Mulkey herself threatened to sue the Washington Post for a ‘hit piece’ before it was published over the weekend.  In the story, the LSU coach is accused of clashing with gay members of her former team Baylor, with ex-players Kelli Griffin and Emily Niemann opening up on their time working with her.

kim mulkey4Mulkey threatened to sue the Washington Post earlier in the tournament over a ‘hit piece’

Griffin alleged that Mulkey made her life ‘hell’ after discovering that she was gay, while Neimann recalled her old coach telling her it wasn’t a ‘good look’ after she was spotted out in public with another woman.

Mulkey claimed to have been none the wiser about the Post releasing its controversial piece when a reporter approached her in the aftermath of its publication.  ‘You’re telling me something I didn’t know,’ Mulkey told ESPN’s Sports Center when asked about the story. ‘So you’re the bearer of good news or bad news, however you wanna look at it.

‘But are you really surprised? Are you really surprised by the timing of it?   ‘I can tell you I haven’t read it, I don’t know that I will read it. I’ll leave that up to my attorneys.’  Griffin, who played for Mulkey’s Baylor from 2007-10, believes her former coach only targeted her after learning that she was gay.

Despite branding her an ‘amazing coach’, and admitting that she only moved to Baylor to play under her, she claimed Mulkey drew attention to her clothes and issued her a suspension that would ultimately end her career only after learning of her sexuality.


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