LSU women’s basketball team skipping national anthem underscores ‘bigger problem’ for college sports: governor


Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry started a firestorm on social media Tuesday when he referred to as for a coverage change after the LSU girls’s basketball group, sticking to its pregame routine, skipped the nationwide anthem.

The second, caught by OutKick’s Dan Zaksheske at LSU’s Elite Eight matchup in opposition to Iowa, prompted Landry to name on colleges to require a coverage for student-athletes to be current for “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The Republican governor defined his reasoning to anchor Sandra Smith on “America Reviews.”


Jeff Landry speaks on the CPAC Texas 2022 convention at Hilton Anatole. (Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket through Getty Pictures)

“I’m not calling out the gamers or coach Mulkey. I assist coach Mulkey. My assertion stated that. I feel this can be a larger query,” Landry stated on Fox News Channel. “This can be a larger downside for collegiate sports activities nationally and in Louisiana. I simply despatched out a letter to every one among our school boards telling them that these school boards ought to put in place a coverage that respects the nationwide anthem. 

“The nationwide anthem is as a lot part of American sports activities as is the precise recreation that is being performed. And the truth that there may be not a coverage, and it says, ‘Pay attention, these gamers are going to be on the market and respect the flag and respect people who go on the market and shield us is de facto disrespectful in and of itself.’

“So, it is unlucky that LSU was not there at that individual time. Iowa was on the sphere that highlighted the actual downside. And what we’ll do is figure in Louisiana. Say, ‘Pay attention, school athletes want to know that with a purpose to be actually united, with a purpose to actually have civics and civility, all of us have to be united beneath one flag and respect that anthem.’”

Kim Mulkey in the Sweet 16

Kim Mulkey of the LSU Woman Tigers reacts after a name by a referee throughout a recreation in opposition to the UCLA Bruins throughout the Candy 16 of the 2024 NCAA Match at MVP Enviornment March 30, 2024, in Albany, N.Y. (Greg Fiume/NCAA Pictures through Getty Pictures)


Mulkey stated after the sport that nothing was “deliberately” completed, that it was simply a part of the group’s routine. An LSU spokesman stated the group hasn’t been out for the nationwide anthem for a number of seasons.

“Properly, once more, I feel that is one thing that the athletic division, the school president, the college president, the Board of Supervisors, and never simply LSU, however different faculties and universities in Louisiana as effectively,” Landry continued. “Look, I went out and threw one of many first pitches for the Florida-LSU recreation a number of weeks in the past. The very first thing the baseball group did, we had the nationwide anthem. Each the groups had been on the market. 

“You probably have consistency, you do not have these form of issues. And guess what? It is as a lot part of the fan expertise, identical to you stated. I imply, take into consideration a Little League baseball recreation. I’ve seen children be extra behaved throughout the nationwide anthem than they’re throughout the sport itself as a result of it is a respect for our nation. And that is what I feel we needs to be getting again to.”

Kim Mulkey talks to reporters

LSU head coach Kim Mulkey speaks to reporters throughout a information convention on the NCAA Match in Albany, N.Y., Friday, March 29, 2024. (AP Photograph/Mary Altaffer)

Landry was requested whether or not, per his coverage, gamers could be required to stand for the anthem.


“That is what the college ought to put in place,” he added. “They need to. Everyone ought to respect the flag. In case you do not prefer it, effectively, guess what? You do not have to play the game. I might hope that the entire Remaining 4 groups could be on the market respecting our nation and letting everybody know that we’re united beneath one flag.”

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