Kim Mulkey Controversy: The Silence Surrounding Britney and More in Her Closet

Even though Kim Mulkey is one of the best coaches in LSU athletics history, she occasionally has skeletons emerge out of her closet. Mulkey declined to comment regarding a query regarding Britney Griner’s detention in Russia.

Due to a narcotics charge, Griner has been detained in Russia since February. Mulkey was questioned on Griner’s arrest. Nobody has “seen anything from [her] on that,” the reporter claimed.

“And you won’t,” Mulkey replied. Griner was a notable performer for Mulkey while she was the head coach at Baylor from 2009 to 2013. Griner assisted in guiding the Bears to a 40-0 record and the national title in 2012. Griner was chosen as the national player in the same year.

The video of her hesitating to remark on Griner’s incarceration has gone viral on social media. Mulkey’s dismissal of the imprisonment of her former star player has offended many people, including several of her former teammates.

Former Baylor player Queen Egbo, now a member of the Indiana Fever, made many shots at her former coach in response to her disregard of Griner’s circumstance.

“A player that built Baylor, two national titles, & a 40-0 record,” Egbo tweeted. “Yet her former coach refuses to say anything or simply just any kind of support. Keep that in mind when you’re choosing schools.”

Egbo played alongside Giner on the 2019 national championship squad. Another former Baylor athlete of Mulkey’s, Chloe Jackson, disagreed with his remarks.

“And I will repeat it,” Jackson tweeted. “SILENCE SPEAKS VOLUMES, smh.”

This isn’t the first time Jackson has come after Mulkey on Twitter.  Jackson also attacked Mulkey for being silent about Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, killing George Floyd.

Kim Mulkey Controversy

The Baylor head coach who replaced Mulkey has been vociferous in supporting Griner, Nikki Collen. Collen has Twitter messages in favor of Britney Griner and has spoken out in her defense. On Monday, the same day as Mulkey’s news appearance, Collen spoke about Griner’s detention in Russia for five minutes.

“Those around me know I get pretty emotional,” she said. “I think BG, first of all, is human first. I think this is a human rights issue. No one’s saying she didn’t make a mistake. None of us are perfect.

But I guess I would wanna know if I did something and was stuck in a foreign country, what it was, what it wasn’t. I think we all know that 10 years is a long time. I see her as a mother, as a sister, as a spouse, as a daughter, as an unbelievable ambassador for the game of basketball.”

Mulkey has remained mute on the subject, despite having offered succinct support to Griner and her family when questioned about it on the podcast Tiger Rag Radio. Why has she been so apathetic while talking about the detention of the best player she has ever coached?

It’s not a good picture, mainly because Griner, a player who did not play for either coach, has received support from other coaches, including Collen and South Carolina’s head coach Dawn Staley.

Mulkey is revered as a sporting deity. She has, however, come to be viewed as a controversial figure in recent years. When Griner graduated and started her professional job, she and Mulkey fell out. Griner claimed that Mulkey made her hide her s*xuality.

“It was a recruiting thing,” Griner said during an interview with ESPN in 2014. “The coaches thought that if it seemed like they condoned it, people wouldn’t let their kids come play for Baylor.”

Mulkey has allegedly been accused of feeling uneasy when tutoring members of the LGBTQ community on numerous occasions. Cyd Zeigler, the creator of Outsports, questioned Mulkey about having a gay player on her team in the summer of 2012.

Mulkey’s response: “Don’t ask me that. I don’t think it’s anybody’s business. Whoever you are, I don’t care to know that.” Griner had to conceal her s*xuality at Baylor, according to a report by former ESPN reporter Kate Fagan, and Mulkey allegedly tried to get her fired after the piece was published.

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“I did a story in which Brittney Griner told me that when she was at Baylor that she was not allowed to be openly gay, and this wasn’t a shocking story considering it is written in the handbook of Baylor University that you are not allowed to be openly gay at Baylor University,” Fagan said on the podcast, The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz.

“But after we put out that story, Kim Mulkey believed that I had forced Brittney Griner to say this, and she told the higher-ups at ESPN that I needed to be fired for this.”

Mulkey proposed that COVID-19 testing be eliminated after her team’s Elite Eight loss to the University of Connecticut in the Women’s NCAA tournament in March 2021 because she believed it could harm a student-prospects athlete’s of competing in the Final Four. People were still becoming sick and dying in large numbers during the epidemic.

“After the games today and tomorrow, there are four teams left, I think, on the men’s and women’s sides,” Mulkey said after Baylor’s loss to UCONN.”They need to dump the COVID testing.

Wouldn’t it be a shame to keep COVID testing, and then you got kids that test positive or something, and they don’t get to play in the Final Four? So, you just need to forget the COVID tests, get the four teams playing in each Final Four, and go battle it out.”

Mulkey had a holiday get-together with friends and family and two months later tested positive for COVID-19. One game for Baylor was canceled, and two others were postponed.

When she returned to coach her squad, Mulkey informed reporters that the NCAA would continue the season because of the “almighty cash,” disregarding the safety of the players and coaches.

“The season will continue,” Mulkey said in January 2021. “The NCAA has to have the almighty dollar from the men’s tournament. The almighty dollar is more important than the health and welfare of me, the players, or anybody else.”

Openly gay athletes don’t prevent teams from recruiting them. Yet it hurts athletes when coaches don’t encourage them. Recruits notice it when former players pursue you after you decline to speak or even express your thoughts and prayers for one of your best players who is being held in a nation that is at odds with the United States.

Recruits can detect when you tell players you can’t be gay because you think it will harm your self-image. Recruits notice when you remain mute on the murder of George Floyd and other racial atrocities.

“Kim Mulkey is my dark horse for a person in sports that you never want to cross,” Fagan said. “She might not even be the dark horse. She might just be the No. 1 person in sports, which is terrifying.”

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