Kim Mulkey Explains Why LSU Skipped National Anthem Amid Backlash

LSU v Iowa

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LSU women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey said her team's absence during the playing of the national anthem prior to an Elite Eight loss to Iowa Monday (April 1) was "nothing intentionally done," rather part of their pregame routine.

“Honestly, I don’t even know when the anthem was played,” Mulkey said during her postgame press conference. “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.”

A video shared online by Outkick content creator Dan Zaksheske showed LSU was noticeably absent, while Iowa players were seen holding hands, during the national anthem. Several users criticized the LSU team for their absence with many assuming it was an intentional act.

Local Louisiana reporter Chessa Buche, who said she covered the team for three years, noted that "LSU is never on the court for the national anthem" in response to the now-viral video.

"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 3 years & they’ve never been," Bouche wrote in response to an X user.

Iowa defeated LSU, 94-87, in a rematch of the 2023 Women's NCAA Tournament Championship Game. Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark, the NCAA's all-time leading scorer for both men and women, recorded 41 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds in 40 minutes during Monday's win, which included hitting six 3-pointers in the second half.

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