Athletes Who Skip Anthem Should Lose Scholarship, Governor Suggests

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Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry believes athletes should "risk" losing their scholarship if they miss the national anthem played before games.

Landy made the comment on Tuesday (April 2) after the LSU Tigers women's basketball team and head coach Kim Mulkey weren't on the court when the Star-Spangled Banner played before the team's tournament game against Iowa.

“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 wrote 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 then suggested that athletes who skip the national anthem have their scholarships revoked.

“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,” the governor tweeted.

Following LSU's loss to Iowa, Mulkey said her players were following their regular pre-game routine when they missed the anthem.

“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 pre-game stuff. I’m sorry, listen, that’s nothing intentionally done.”

A spokesperson for LSU’s athletics department said the pre-game routine has been the same for years.

“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 wrote on X. “Usually the anthem is played 12 minutes before the game when the team is in the locker room doing final preparations.”

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