LSU Players Walk Out During National Anthem

( The LSU Tigers’ loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight wasn’t the only headline from Albany, New York. Social media erupted with outrage after footage showed the LSU team apparently missing the national anthem.

During the Star-Spangled Banner, the Hawkeyes stood united, hands clasped, while the LSU side of the court remained empty. This sparked nationwide fury, with many accusing LSU of disrespecting American tradition.

Coach Kim Mulkey offered a different perspective, explaining that the team wasn’t aware of the anthem’s timing due to their pre-game routine. Mulkey admitted her lack of awareness and described a routine involving leaving the court at a specific time, unintentionally causing them to miss the anthem.

Backing up Mulkey’s explanation, Baton Rouge sports reporter Chessa Bouche revealed that LSU consistently returns to the locker room for the anthem before every game. Bouche tweeted that the team has never been on the court for the anthem.

Despite the clarification, online controversy persisted. Fans expressed anger and disappointment, questioning the team’s patriotism and suggesting consequences like expulsion. Some saw the incident as karma for the loss, while others focused on the game, highlighting the Hawkeyes’ strong performance.

This controversy adds to the challenges faced by Coach Mulkey and her team in what has already been a tough season. Just days before the Elite Eight matchup, Mulkey threatened legal action against the Washington Post for an upcoming story. The article reportedly details alleged clashes between Mulkey and gay players on her previous team at Baylor.

Former players like Kelli Griffin and Emily Niemann accused Mulkey of creating a hostile environment after discovering their sexual orientation. Griffin claimed Mulkey made her life difficult, while Niemann recalled comments from the coach regarding public displays of affection with another woman.

Mulkey vehemently denied the accusations and remained defiant when questioned. She emphasized the team’s achievements, expressing pride in reaching the Elite Eight. However, the timing of the Post’s story, combined with the national anthem incident, somewhat dims the light of LSU’s sense of success.

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