Louisiana governor suggests pulling scholarships for athletes who skip national anthem

LSU lost the the Iowa Hawkeyes 94-87.

Louisiana’s governor tweeted this week that he thinks that a college athlete who is not present for the national anthem as it’s played before games should have his or her scholarship revoked.

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Gov. Jeff Landry took to social media on Tuesday to criticize the LSU Tigers women’s basketball team and their head coach, Kim Mulkey, for not being on the court Monday when the Star-Spangled Banner was played before the team’s game against Iowa in the NCAA tournament.

“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,” Landry posted on X, formally Twitter.

“However, above respect for that game is a deeper respect for those that serve to protect us and unite us under one flag!”

Landry went on to say that he supports a policy that requires athletes to be on the court during the playing of the anthem or risk losing their scholarship, The Guardian reported.

“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,” he wrote.

Mulkey, who has won four national titles as a head coach said afterward that her players have a regular pre-game routine and that they were following the routine and had left the court when the anthem was played.

“Honestly, I don’t even know when the anthem was played,” Mulkey said after the game. “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 pre-game stuff. I’m sorry, listen, that’s nothing intentionally done.”

A spokesperson for LSU’s athletics department said that Monday’s protocol was no different than what has occurred in recent years with both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, Fox News reported.

“Our basketball programs have not been on the court for the anthem for the last several seasons,” the school’s associate athletics director Cody Worsham said in a tweet on Tuesday. “Usually the anthem is played 12 minutes before the game when the team is in the locker room doing final preparations.”

LSU lost the game to Iowa 94-87. Iowa moves on to the Final Four game on Friday.

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