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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

LSU's Angel Reese Said She's Received Death Threats & Experienced Bullying Since Winning the 2023 Championship: Coach Kim Mulkey Responds to Negative Headlines About Players and Herself

The LSU Tigers have made headlines again. Following Monday's upset against the Iowa Hawkeyes, Angel Reese shared that she's been bullied and threatened since winning last year's NCAA championship against Iowa. At press time after Monday's game, Angel expressed her frustration with some of the criticism she received. She told the press, "I don't really get to stand up for myself." "I don't really get to speak out on things just because I just try to ignore them, and I just try to stand strong." "I've been through so much, I've seen so much, I've been attacked so many times—death threats, I've been sexualized." "I just try to stand strong for my teammates." Reese shared that she hasn't had peace since winning last year's championship against Iowa, but explained that she wouldn't change the experience for anything in the world. 

LSU's coach, Kim Mulkey has also been dealing with the press. Kim expressed outrage against a Los Angeles Times reporter, Ben Bolch, who referred to the Tigers as "dirty debutantes" and "villains"— and the UCLA Bruins as "sweethearts" when the teams competed during the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament last week. Coach Mulkey quickly defended her team against Bolch, stating, "You can criticize coaches all you want. That's our business. We expect that.. I'm not gonna let you attack young people and there were some things in this commentary that you should be offended by as women," Mulkey said to some of the female reporters attending the press conference. She continued, "It was 'good vs. evil' in that game today. Called us 'dirty debutantes.' I'm not going to let you talk about 18 to 21 year old kids in that tone."

Kim Mulkey @lsuwbkb (Instagram)

The LAT writer apologized on X, stating, "In my column previewing the LSU-UCLA women's basketball game, I tried to be clever in my phrasing about one team's attitude, using alliteration while not understanding the deeply offensive connotation or associations. I also used metaphors that were not appropriate," Bolch explained. "I sincerely apologize to the LSU and UCLA basketball teams and to our readers," he said. 

The press also criticized the Tigers for missing the national anthem before the face-off with Iowa. Kim said that it was an accident, she explained, "Honestly, I don't even know when the anthem was played. She continued, "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."

Coach Mulkey met more adversity when The Washington Post published an article about her exit from Baylor University's basketball program and the alleged mistreatment of certain athletes. Mulkey won three NCAA championships during her tenure at Baylor before coming to LSU in 2021.  The article stated that Mulkey allegedly treated gay players differently than non-gay athletes and discussed her relationship with WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was her former player at Baylor, her relationship with her father, and statements she made about her current player, Angel Reese. She reportedly threatened to sue The Washington Post as a result of the article. 

Per the New York Post, during a press event, Coach Mulkey responded to ESPN's comments about the article and stated, "You're telling me something I didn't know, so you're the bearer of good news, bad news, however you want to look at it," "But are you really surprised? Are you really surprised by the timing of it? But I can tell you I haven't read it. Don't know that I will read it. I'll leave that up to my attorneys." 

LSU fell short of advancing to the final four in Albany on Monday after losing to Iowa 94-87 during the biggest rematch of the year. There were 12.3 million viewers who reportedly watched the game.

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