Louisiana Governor calls for athletes to be STRIPPED of scholarships if they avoid the national anthem after LSU controversy: ‘A matter of respect’

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Written By Maya Cantina

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry believes athletes should lose their scholarships for avoiding the national anthem after LSU’s women’s basketball team sparked outrage by missing it before their defeat to Iowa on Monday night.

The LSU Tigers drew heavy criticism when footage of their national-anthem snub surfaced on social media, with Kim Mulkey’s players nowhere to be seen as the Star-Spangled Banner played out in Albany.

Ahead of the Elite 8 showdown, Iowa stars were seen taking the anthem in while holding hands at one end of the court, only for the other to be empty after LSU headed back to the locker room.

Mulkey insists it was by no means an intentional move, claiming her team were simply undergoing their standard pregame routine. But Landry, who was elected Governor of the state in October, is calling for athletes to be punished for a similar slip-up in the future.

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry (right) believes athletes should lose their scholarships for avoiding the national anthem amid controversy surrounding LSU’s women’s basketball team

Iowa players listened to the American national anthem before their game against LSU

But their opponents skipped the anthem on the night

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 

Landry is calling for athletes to lose their scholarships if a similar slip-up happens in the future

Landry is calling for athletes to lose their scholarships if a similar slip-up happens in the future

‘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,’ he wrote on X. 

‘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.’

According to Baton Rouge Proud reporter Chessa Bouche, LSU players are never on the court when the national anthem is played before games.

When asked about the incident in the aftermath of her team’s 94-87 loss to Iowa, Mulkey said: ‘Honestly, I don’t even know when the anthem was played.

‘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.’

Despite Mulkey’s explanation, LSU fans were still furious with the team for missing the anthem prior to Monday’s game, which went down as the most watched women’s college basketball fixture of all time with an average of 12.3 million viewers.

LSU head coach Kim Mulkey claimed they did not miss the national anthem intentionally

LSU head coach Kim Mulkey claimed they did not miss the national anthem intentionally 

But fans took to Tiger Droppings to express their displeasure towards Mulkey and her routine

But fans took to Tiger Droppings to express their displeasure towards Mulkey and her routine 

‘I look up a couple news sites and it says that LSU WB Team did not attend or stand for the national anthem?’ One user wrote on Tiger Droppings.

‘Are you kidding me? WTF Kim? What am I missing? We live in the Deep South and you are telling me LSU did this BS woke crap. Someone please help me understand what happened. For the life of me I don’t understand why LSU would do this intentionally or unintentionally.’

Another user called for Mulkey and Athletic Director Scott Woodward to get fired for the routine. The fan also expressed that he will no longer be rooting for the Tigers after decades of whole-hearted support.

‘I’ve been an LSU fan since 1958,’ the user wrote. ‘I live and breathe purple and Gold. I’m also a Vietnam era veteran who loves this country. I just learned about the disrespect Mulkey and her team show for America and those who sacrificed so much.

‘I’m glad they lost to Iowa. If they continue this ‘routine’ to snub the National Anthem, I hope they never win another game. The AD and Mulkey should be fired for allowing this ‘routine.’

In a rematch of last year’s NCAA Championship, coach Lisa Bluder’s Hawkeyes outperformed Mulkey’s Tigers for a 94-87 victory, with Iowa sensation Caitlin Clark scoring an astonishing 41 points.

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark clocked in a 41-point game to send the defending champions home

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark clocked in a 41-point game to send the defending champions home 

But Mulkey said when she reflects on how her team performed throughout the competition, she would feel only one thing.

‘Proud,’ she said. ‘I’m going to feel very proud. I’m going to think of the little things that we overcame, that put us in an Elite 8. 

‘You’re one game away from going back to the Final Four. I’m going to eventually think of how did we get here. How did we get here? What did we do as a team and as a staff to get to this moment?’

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