LSU’s Kim Mulkey threatens lawsuit over rumoured Washington Post ‘hit job’

<span>Kim Mulkey has won national titles with Baylor and LSU. </span><span>Photograph: Matthew Hinton/USA Today Sports</span>

Kim Mulkey has won national titles with Baylor and LSU. Photograph: Matthew Hinton/USA Today Sports

Kim Mulkey has threatened to sue the Washington Post after rumours circulated on social media that the newspaper is planning to publish an article on the LSU women’s basketball coach.

Mulkey led LSU to the NCAA title last year, and is one of the most high-profile coaches in college basketball. But on Saturday she used a press conference to attack the Washington Post, and journalists as a whole.

“Reporters who give a megaphone to a one-sided embellished version of things aren’t trying to tell the truth,” she said. “They’re trying to sell newspapers and feed the click machine. This is exactly why people don’t trust journalists and the media anymore. It’s these kinds of sleazy tactics and hatchet jobs that people are just tired of. I’m fed up and I’m not gonna let the Washington Post attack this university, this awesome team of young women I have, or me, without a fight.”

Mulkey didn’t name the journalist in question but said that she “felt the need to publicly address what exactly this reporter for the Washington Post has been doing the past several years. And the lengths he has gone to try and put a hit piece together … I told this reporter two years ago that I didn’t appreciate the hit job he wrote on [LSU football coach] Brian Kelly, and that’s why I wasn’t going to do an interview with him.”

Post reporter Kent Babb wrote a profile of Kelly in 2022. After Mulkey’s press conference on Saturday Babb wrote “Hit piece?” in a post on X, and linked to his profile of Kelly.

Mulkey added that she had “hired the best defamation law firm in the country, and I will sue the Washington Post if they publish a false story on me. Not many people are in a position to hold these kinds of journalists accountable but I am, and I’ll do it.”

She said the Post had “called former disgruntled players to get negative quotes to include in their story,” and tried to “trick” other coaches into disparaging her.

LSU are due to play Middle Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. They opened their campaign with a 70-60 victory over Rice on Friday.

The 60-year-old Mulkey was a star college player, winning a national title with Louisiana Tech before helping Team USA to gold at the 1984 Olympics. She won three national titles as Baylor coach before moving to LSU and claiming last year’s championship. Mulkey has been credited with helping players with personal problems but has also attracted controversy, particularly in her relationship with Brittney Griner, whom she coached at Baylor. While Griner said she appreciated Mulkey defending her from hostile fans, she also said the coach told her to cover her tattoos and to not talk publicly about her sexuality.

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