College Basketball

LSU coach Kim Mulkey tries to explain team skipping national anthem ahead of Elite Eight game vs. Iowa after online backlash

While the on-court battle between Iowa and LSU captivated the attention of sports fans across the country, some were left with a sour taste in their mouth after the Tigers were absent from the floor during the national anthem. 

LSU head coach Kim Mulkey told reporters that it was “nothing intentionally done” and that her team has a routine they went through before the start of the game in Albany. 

The outrage began to fester among some online after a video was shared on X by Outkick and others.

It showed Iowa standing on one side of the court for the anthem before the camera panned to show that LSU was not present. 

“Honestly, I don’t even know when the anthem was played,” Mulkey said.

“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.”

LSU wasn’t on the court for the national anthem. @RealDanZak / X
The LSU Tigers fell to the Iowa Hawkeyes, 94-87, at MVP Arena. Getty Images

The Tigers fell to the Hawkeyes, 94-87, at MVP Arena in Albany with superstars Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese putting on a show, with the former recording a 41-point effort. 

The absence of LSU drew criticism from social media users, who called it “embarrassing” and disgusting” that they weren’t on the court for the national anthem. 

Local Louisiana sports reporter Chessa Buche noted that LSU is never on the court for the national anthem

Kim Mulkey and LSU lost to Iowa in the Elite Eight on Monday. Getty Images

LSU found itself in a similar controversy last year when the team wasn’t on the floor for the anthem ahead of the national championship game victory over Iowa.

Tuesday night marked the final time that two of women’s basketball’s biggest names would go head-to-head with one another at the collegiate level. 

Clark has already announced that she will enter the WNBA draft on April 15, while Reese’s future with LSU is still up in the air as she decides whether to turn pro or return to Baton Rouge.