LA Gov. Isn't Happy LSU Women's BBall Team Didn't Show For National Anthem

John Simmons | April 4, 2024
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The LSU women’s basketball team was not on the court for the national anthem before their Elite Eight matchup with Iowa, and Louisiana governor Jeff Landry was not impressed.

After losing to the Hawkeyes 94-87 on Monday, Tigers head coach Kim Mulkey was asked why her team wasn’t on the court for the national anthem. The Tigers were on the court doing their pregame routine for a time, but then went back to the locker room before the anthem was played. Meanwhile, Iowa stood for the singing of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Mulkey said after the game that her team’s actions weren’t a sign of disrespect to anyone, but that her team follows a specific pregame routine and didn’t break from it for the anthem.

Kim Mulkey says team not being on the floor during national anthem “wasn’t intentional”

— Gifdsports (@gifdsports) April 2, 2024

“Honestly, I don’t even know when the anthem was played,” Mulkey said. “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.”

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I’m willing to believe that what happened wasn’t intentional, since her team has done this since at least last year. But does that mean that I think that the routine is done in the best taste, or buy her line that she didn’t know the anthem was played? No.

First, the national anthem is played at nearly every consequential sporting event in America, like the Elite Eight of the women’s college basketball tournament. Mulkey would certainly know that the anthem is part of the pregame festivities. Second, how hard would it be to work the 90 seconds it takes to stand for the anthem into your pregame routine?

Either way, Landry wasn’t happy with what he saw. He posted on his personal X account that he wants a policy instituted that requires college athletes to stand for the anthem, or else they lose their scholarship.

My mother coached women’s high school basketball during the height of desegregation, no one has a greater respect for the sport and for Coach Mulkey. However, above respect for that game is a deeper respect for those that serve to protect us and unite us under one flag !

It is…

— Jeff Landry (@JeffLandry) April 2, 2024

I don’t necessarily agree with the severity of that punishment, but I do agree with the sentiment behind it.

It’s not hard to stand for the anthem. As we’ve said in the past, kneeling or not being present for the national anthem at the very least shows a lack of respect for the moment and for the country that's giving you the opportunity to play the sport you love. It wouldn’t kill for the people to stand at attention for the song and then go about their business afterwards.

Unfortunately, the chances of getting that message to stick with people in today’s cultural climate is a near impossible task.

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