March Madness fans rip into LSU coach Kim Mulkey after she claimed she didn’t know when the national anthem is played in ‘pathetic’ excuse for Tigers’ no-show before Iowa loss: ‘That’s supposed to be better?’

Livid college basketball fans took aim at LSU head coach Kim Mulkey’s excuse for her team missing the national anthem ahead of their March Madness clash 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, the Tigers had sparked outrage when footage on social media appeared to show that LSU players skipped the national anthem before it played out at Times Union Center, while the Hawkeyes stood hand-in-hand on the court.

After LSU fell, Mulkey tried to justify her players’ absence as she claimed that she wasn’t even aware of when the anthem was played.

‘Honestly, I don’t even know when the anthem was played,’ she told reporters. ‘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.’

Kim Mulkey apologized for her players leaving the court before the national anthem
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Kim Mulkey apologized for her players leaving the court before the national anthem

Iowa players listened to the American national anthem before their game against LSU
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But their opponents skipped the anthem on the night
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LSU stars sparked outrage prior to their game against Iowa (left) on Monday night after leaving the court before the American national anthem was played

College basketball fans claimed that the coach's excuse made the situation worse

College basketball fans claimed that the coach’s excuse made the situation worse

LSU coach explains why team wasn’t on court for national anthem

However, Mulkey’s reasoning appears to have only worsened the situation as fans blasted the coach for the team’s ‘routine’.

‘Now isn’t that disgusting,’ one social media user posted. ‘She doesn’t know when the Anthem is played. That tells you all you need to know.’

Another added: ‘And that routine is leaving the floor prior to the playing of the United States National Anthem. Damn LSU!’

‘I don’t even know what time the anthem is played?!!! That’s supposed to be better? Wow,’ another outraged fan asked in disbelief.

‘That response is wrong,’ one hit back at Mulkey’s comments. ‘Why not have a routine to stay on the court to make sure you hear the national anthem?’

Some conceded that it was in fact normal for LSU to skip the national anthem, noting previous games, but argued that it only increased the level of disrespect from the Tigers.

‘She was correct- they have a regular, disrespectful routine of leaving the court when the national anthem is played,’ one user posted.

‘In return there should be a routine policy of not providing federal aid to colleges that allow this and for students who do not respect the country enough that provides it. Let a country they respect more pay for their education.’

Furious social media users blasted Mulkey for the team's pre-game routine

Furious social media users blasted Mulkey for the team’s pre-game routine

Another chimed in, writing: ‘I agree 100%. Having said that, they did not do it intentionally this game. They do it every game as part of their routine. 12 minutes on the court – then they leave – with zero regard for the National Anthem. So, I guess that makes it worse. That’s on Mulkey!! She is done.’

Others took aim at Mulkey’s coaching ability arguing it was her responsibility to know when the anthem is scheduled to be played and to ensure her players are on the court for it.

‘Coach Mulkey, pull your head out of the sand,’ one posted. ‘You are in a national championship tournament. It is your RESPONSIBILITY to know the schedule of events and adapt. Your arrogance is stunning and your team is a disgrace.’

One college basketball fan added: ‘Just another lie, no one takes responsibility anymore how about just say the truth, my players didn’t want to be there and I’m not a strong enough coach to stand up and speak truth so I let them walk all over me and I’m a and this is maybe the reason we lost I will work harder at respecting our nation and being a leader these girls can look up to. See how hard is that?’

Cody Worsham, LSU’s Associate AD, clarified that the procedure was program-wide with the men’s basketball team also leaving the court 12 minutes before the game.

He said in a statement: ‘Our basketball programs have not been on the court for the anthem for the last several seasons. Usually the anthem is played 12 minutes before the game when the team is in the locker room doing final preparations.’

Others argued it was her responsibility to know when the anthem is scheduled to be played

Others argued it was her responsibility to know when the anthem is scheduled to be played

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 picture of Mulkey and the team being absent during the national anthem in 2023’s NCAA tournament against the Miami Hurricanes also resurfaced. The photo, however, did not help Mulkey’s case, as it showed dismayed fans how long the team had done the routine.

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