BY Staff WritersApril 3, 2024
2 weeks ago
 | April 3, 2024
2 weeks ago

LSU's Anthem Absence Sparks Fan Outrage, Calls for Coach's Dismissal

The LSU women's basketball team's absence during the national anthem at the Elite 8 game has ignited a firestorm among fans.

In an unforeseen twist at the Elite 8 game, LSU's decision not to appear on the court during the national anthem led to calls for coach Kim Mulkey's firing.

According to the Daily Mail, the controversy began at the Times Union Center in Albany on Monday when the Louisiana State University team chose not to be present on the court to play the American national anthem before their game against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

In stark contrast, the Iowa team stood hand in hand, showcasing unity and respect. This act by LSU has generated significant backlash from its fan base.

Fans Voice Discontent on Forums

Following the incident, the online platform Tiger Droppings became a hotbed for fan outrage. Supporters of LSU, a team with a storied history and passionate following, did not mince words in their criticism.

Some fans demanded the immediate firing of coach Kim Mulkey, attributing the team's no-show as a blatant sign of disrespect.

One particularly vocal fan, claiming allegiance to LSU since 1958, called for drastic measures. This individual and others voiced not just disappointment but a deep sense of betrayal, expressing how the team's actions contradicted the values they believed LSU stood for.

The fans' argument revolved around what they perceived as a lack of respect for the country and those who have sacrificed for it. They clamored for a change in pre-game procedures to ensure the team's presence during the national anthem, a moment many see as a pivotal expression of patriotic respect.

Response to the Outrage

In the wake of the public outcry, Kim Mulkey addressed the issue head-on. Her response was surprised and clarified. She stated that her team's absence was not deliberate but part of a pre-established routine, indicating no disrespect was intended.

This explanation, however, did little to quell the discontent among fans. Many continued to express their dismay and disappointment, with some expressing their outrage in harsh terms. They viewed not participating in the anthem as an unacceptable oversight that needed immediate correction.

Chessa Bouche, a Baton Rouge Proud News reporter, attempted to provide some clarification. She noted that LSU teams' absence during the anthem is not uncommon, suggesting that the basketball team's actions at the Elite 8 game were consistent with past behavior rather than a new form of protest.

A Historical Practice Uncovered

Further investigation revealed that this was not the first time LSU athletes were absent during the national anthem. A photograph from the 2023 NCAA tournament resurfaced, showing the LSU team missing from the anthem segment against Miami. This highlighted the consistent nature of LSU's pre-game routine over the years.

Despite the backlash, it's vital to consider the broader context. The LSU women's basketball team is well-respected, having secured the national championship title the previous year. Their victory against Iowa in the championship game cemented their status as one of the top teams in the country.

Iowa, led by Caitlin Clark’s impressive 41-point game, advanced to the Final Four, setting up a highly anticipated face-off against UConn. This achievement adds another layer to the narrative, illustrating the competitive spirit of collegiate basketball.

Wrapping Up: LSU's National Anthem Controversy

The LSU women's basketball team's absence during the national anthem at the Elite 8 game against Iowa has sparked significant debate among fans and observers alike. Calls for coach Kim Mulkey's firing underscore the intense emotions tied to perceived acts of disrespect or patriotism, especially within the context of collegiate sports.

While Mulkey insists the absence was routine and not a deliberate act of protest, the issue has certainly highlighted differing perspectives on tradition, respect, and the expectations placed on athletic teams. As the discussion continues, it remains to be seen how LSU will address the concerns of its fan base and whether any changes to the pre-game routine will be enacted in the future.

Written by: Staff Writers



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