Louisiana Governor Says Student Athletes Should Lose Their Scholarships If They’re Not Present For The National Anthem

LSU Women's basketball
@RealDanZak

Well that’s one way to keep them on the court…

Social media erupted last night when the LSU women’s basketball team left the court before the national anthem, ahead of the much-anticipated matchup with Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Of course it would be a strange protest for LSU coach Kim Mulkey’s team, after Mulkey has previously been criticized for her presumed-conservative leaning beliefs. (People on Twitter even derisively refer to her as “MAGA Mulkey,” although as far as I can find, she doesn’t really talk politics much).

And even if LSU was trying to make a statement, it wasn’t a new one: The team is never on the court for the national anthem, dating back to at least last season.

Mulkey also addressed the supposed “controversy” after the game, saying she doesn’t even know when the national anthem is played, and that missing it is simply part of their pregame routine:

“Honestly, I don’t even know when the anthem was played. We have a routine where we’re on the floor and they come off at the 12 minute mark. We come in and do our pregame stuff. I’m sorry, that’s nothing intentionally done.”

Well if the governor of Louisiana has his way, LSU might have to change up that pregame routine.

Jeff Landry, who is in his first year as governor of Louisiana, addressed the controversy earlier today on Twitter, suggesting that student athletes lose their scholarship if they’re not present for the national anthem:

“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 time that all college boards, including Regent, put a policy in place that student athletes be present for the national anthem or risk their athletic scholarship! This is a matter of respect that all collegiate coaches should instill.”

Of course the internet was divided over the suggestion, with many praising Landry for calling on teams to respect the national anthem, while others disagreed with trying to force beliefs on students – especially students who apparently weren’t trying to make any statement to begin with.

Either way, now that Mulkey is aware of the controversy she caused, I have a feeling we might see the Tigers on the court next season when the anthem is played.

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