Entering just her 2nd season as head coach of the LSU Lady Tigers, Kim Mulkey currently has actually bent the recruiting chops that enabled her to develop the Baylor Lady Bears as a females’s college basketball powerhouse, drawing in an excellent collection of gamers to Baton Rouge.
Rapper-hooper Flau’jae Johnson, the 26th-ranked hire in the class of 2022, headings a freshman class that likewise consists of a fellow four-star hire in Sa’Myah Smith.
Mulkey likewise snagged the reward gem of the transfer website, with Angel Reese choosing to take her skills to LSU after 2 seasons at Maryland. Mulkey and the Lady Tigers will invite transfers LaDazhia Williams (Missouri) and Jasmine Carson (West Virginia) also.
Yet, for outdoors observers, current remarks, or absence thereof, from Mulkey raise concerns regarding why these gamers selected to bet her. Yes, gamers are ideal to be drawn to Mulkey based upon her performance history at Baylor — she understands how to construct and sustain an effective ladies’s college hoops program. She likewise has actually located her gamers to get a shot in the WNBA.
But, what about when a professional athlete’s eligibility ends and the player-coach relationship progresses into a human-human relationship? What about life beyond the basketball court?
At an interview recently, Mulkey was inquired about Brittney Griner, who, on the date of the publication of this short article, has actually been wrongfully apprehended in Russia for 229 days, she used a curt action that reeked with condescension.
She just and quickly stated, “And you won’t …,” after a press reporter proposed, “I just wanted to get your thoughts on Brittney Griner’s situation. I don’t think I’ve seen anything from you on that …”
Her rejection to comment, and the tone with which she released that rejection, was spectacular, alighting the social networks streets afire with criticisms of Mulkey and her obvious absence of compassion for the very best, most effective gamer she has actually ever coached.
Her self-imposed silence likewise was befuddling when she, in truth, has actually used her ideas on Griner. In a June interview with Tiger Rag Radio, Mulkey shared that she has actually selected not to speak openly about what she described a “personal issue” prior to keeping in mind that, “I pray for Brittney. I want her home safely … Those of us who don’t necessarily speak publicly about it certainly are praying for her.”
Even if Mulkey is unbothered by the deluge of online condemnations, a sense of human decency, or a minimum of media savvy, need to have motivated her to react likewise recently. Possibly, if one wishes to be charitable to Mulkey and her option, she did not wish to take attention far from her existing group.
However, it deserves keeping in mind that a variety of Mulkey’s previous gamers, did not offer her the advantage of the doubt, much less rally to her defense.
Chloe Jackson, a member of Baylor’s 2019 championship game group, tweeted a veiled review of Mulkey, prior to making her objectives by clear by following up with a tweet that checked out, “#FREEBG.”
And I will state it once again. SILENCE SPEAKS VOLUMES, smh.
— Chloe Jackson (@Clj_0) September 26, 2022
Queen Egbo, likewise a member of the 2019 champion team, tweeted a more direct and extreme indictment of Mulkey’s character, presuming regarding encourage potential customers versus betting Mulkey.
A gamer that developed Baylor, 2 nationwide titles, & a 40-0 record. Yet her previous coach declines to state anything or merely just reveal any type of assistance. Keep that in mind when you’re picking schools.
— Queen (@QueenEgbo_) September 26, 2022
While outside critics, particularly those who root for competing groups, might be implicated of overreacting to Mulkey’s choice to stay mum, that her previous gamers, who have an expert understanding of how she handles and preserves her individual relationships, saw her silence as considerable shows that it is.
And it stands in sharp contrast to other coaches who have actually utilized their platforms to reveal issue for Griner and push for her liberty. Dawn Staley, head coach of South Carolina who coached Griner with Team U.S.A. at the 2018 World Cup and 2020 Olympic Games, sends out an everyday post on Twitter and Instagram, with a picture of her “WE ARE BG” pin connected.
Staley likewise has actually spoken openly about Griner on numerous celebrations, consisting of providing an extended, implicit action to Mulkey’s silence recently:
“I’ve known Brittney for the past 10 years. I know her heart, I know who she is as a person … She’s a human being. She’s an American over in Russia at the worst time that anybody could be in Russia. Why wouldn’t I want to send prayers her way and make sure she’s in a good headspace? … I just want her to continue to have hope that people are voicing their thoughts and prayers on her behalf.”
Mulkey’s follower as head coach at Baylor, Nicki Collen, promoted practically 5 minutes about Griner at a current interview, commemorating not just what Griner indicated to Baylor as a basketball gamer however likewise acknowledging her as a multidimensional individual.
By choosing not to broaden on her ideas about Griner, Mulkey leaves it uncertain regarding whether she sees and values Griner as more than a basketball gamer. Her silence likewise makes one marvel what she will, or will not, provide for her existing gamers when they leave LSU.