Kim Mulkey has consistently shown us where she stands on social matters. She leans to The Right, which is her right. But when 83 percent of your team are women of color, it’s on you to answer for how your employer’s decisions will affect them.

According to the Louisiana Illuminator — an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization with a mission to cast light on how decisions in Baton Rouge are made and how they affect the lives of everyday Louisianians — LSU scrubbed its diversity statement from the school website and has renamed its inclusion office, dropping diversity language from its website.

I hope you all didn’t think Harvard was the only one.

“Engagement is defined in several ways. We use two forms of the definition,” LSU President William Tate wrote in an email to students. “For us, it represents a two-way process that enables change on both sides. To fully deliver on the promise our flagship offers, we must engage with each other to exchange views and experiences and share potential solutions to our most pressing challenges. Second, engagement reflects a serious commitment. We must commit to find ways to translate our discoveries and talent to serve and elevate the state and its people.” The report also says that a lecture series at LSU’s Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs entitled “Racism: Dismantling the System” that “some conservative legislators opposed,” was removed from the school’s website.

Anytime people start talking about “change” or “both sides,” they also probably believe in the diversity of thought over the diversity of people. And when that happens you end up with a room full of white folks having a discussion/creating “diversity” plans.

This is the part where Mulkey comes in and the “why” is a two-part answer. For one, she’s one of the faces of the school, as her contract has her only following the head football coach when it comes to compensation. And two, since she loves to recruit the Black players who have made her one of the most successful coaches in college basketball, it’s on her to answer the questions of those Black parents and players when the school does stuff like this — especially given her very public history on social matters.

“It was a recruiting thing. The coaches thought that if it seemed like they condoned it, people wouldn’t let their kids come play for Baylor,” is what Brittney Griner told ESPN back in 2013 about what Mulkey told players at the time about not being open publicly about their sexuality when they were at Baylor together. We all saw how useless Mulkey was when Griner was imprisoned in Russia, as she did little and said even less.

And then there was that time when Mulkey promoted violence in defense of her employer, as Baylor was in the middle of one of the worst rape scandals we’ve ever seen. “If somebody’s around you and they ever say, ‘I will never send my daughter to Baylor,’ you knock them right in the face,” she said in 2017, as the school’s head football coach, president, athletic director, and Title IX coordinator had all been fired or resigned.

But even if you agree with Mulkey’s politics, have defended her silence around Griner, or believe her comments from 2017 weren’t “that bad,” then 2019 was proof that one of the highest-profile women in sports doesn’t actually believe in supporting women in sports. “I understand her points, without a doubt. But I’m of the belief, I want the best person for the job. I have a son, and I would be honored if my son wanted to coach next to me,” Mulkey said as a rebuttal to former Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw’s passionate comments on women’s equality and why she wouldn’t hire another male coach on her staff. At the time, ThinkProgress.com had reported that the percentage of female-led women’s college basketball programs had dropped to 59 percent in 2018 from 79 percent in 1977.

When coaches recruit players, they often make promises to parents that involve the protection of their children. And if LSU is going to sneakily strip away diversity language and efforts, Mulkey must answer for it. You can’t have a Black woman like Angel Reese as the face of your program and remain silent when the university does things that show that they don’t care about Angel Reese the person.

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