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Kim Mulkey

LA Times updates controversial column after claims of blatant sexism by LSU's Kim Mulkey

Editor's note: Los Angeles Times reporter Ben Bolch apologized Monday. Here's the link to read more.

After some scathing criticism from LSU women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey, the Los Angeles Times has it published before Saturday's LSU-UCLA matchup in the NCAA Tournament because it "did not meet Times editorial standards."

Mulkey went on an extended rant over what she called "sexist" language in the column, which originally called the game vs. UCLA a battle of "good vs. evil." In particular, Mulkey objected to the description of her defending NCAA champion Lady Tigers as "dirty debutantes."

That phrase, along with references to LSU as "villains," and references to UCLA as "milk and cookies" and "America's sweethearts" were also removed from the column (though "America’s sweethearts vs. its basketball villains" remained in the headline ).

"How dare people attack kids like that?" Mulkey asked reporters at her postgame press conference on Saturday. "You don't have to like the way we play. You don't have to like the way we trash talk. You don't have to like any of that. We're good with that.

"But I can't sit up here as a mother and a grandmother and a leader of young people and allow somebody to say that."

Then on Sunday morning, Mulkey said she was informed of the updates to the column "maybe an hour and a half ago," and she was not expecting an apology.

"Personally, no one has reached out to me. Nor do I require that," Mulkey said.

In addtion, UCLA coach Cori Close apologized Saturday for sharing a link to the controversial column earlier in the day.

“I made a huge mistake in reposting without reading it first, and I am very sorry for that,” . “I would never want to promote anything that tears down a group of people in our great game."

Close also apologized to Mulkey and the LSU players. “I do not condone racism, sexism or inflammatory comments aimed at individuals in our community,”she said. “I hope that I have proven over time with my behaviors and choices this was an isolated mistake and not the intention of my heart."

Hailey Van Lith: Comments are 'racist towards my teammates'

LSU guard Hailey Van Lith addressed the article after the Sweet 16 game, confirming that she and the team did read it before the matchup against the Bruins. She said she wished the team didn't read it and defended her teammates.

"We do have a lot of Black women on this team. We do have a lot of people that are from different areas," Van Lith said. "Unfortunately, that bias does exist still today, and a lot of the people that are making those comments are being racist towards my teammates."

Van Lith, who is white, pointed out the difference in treatment for whenever she trash talks vs. when Angel Reese does the same. She added the words in the article were "very sad and upsetting."

"... I know for a fact that people see us differently because we do have a lot of Black women on our team who have an attitude and like to talk trash and people feel a way about it," Van Lith said. "At the end of the day, I'm rocking with them because they don't let that change who they are. They stay true to themselves, and so I'll have their back."

LSU won the game 78-69 to advance to an Elite Eight matchup Monday night against top-seeded Iowa.

Contributing: Nancy Armour, Jordan Mendoza

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