LSU coach Kim Mulkey speaks on ‘hit piece’ coming from The Washington Post

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LSU coach Kim Mulkey on Saturday threatened legal action against The Washington Post in a four-minute tirade about a story that she said the newspaper was reporting about her.

It was not immediately clear what the story was about or when it might publish, but Mulkey said in comments to open a news conference ahead of her team’s second-round game in the NCAA Tournament that she was expecting a “hit piece.”

“I’m fed up, and I’m not going to let The Washington Post attack this university, this awesome team of young women I have or me without a fight,” Mulkey said. “I’ve hired the best defamation law firm in the country, and I will sue The Washington Post if they publish a false story about me.”

A Washington Post spokesperson declined to comment.

Speculation about the story hit social media on Friday through a post from the Sports Illustrated reporter Pat Forde, prompting chatter about what might be included. Mulkey has faced plenty of criticism in her long career, including about her treatment of Brittney Griner during their time at Baylor together and in more recent years when Griner was detained in Russia.

Mulkey has come under fire in the past for reportedly encouraging former players to keep quiet about their sexuality. Griner, who starred at Baylor under Mulkey, told ESPN that Mulkey told her to not reveal publicly that she was gay, even though she had been more open with teammates and others in her life.

When Griner’s case in Russia became an international story, Mulkey repeatedly refused to address the situation, calling it “a personal issue.”

Mulkey said Saturday that a Post reporter had been working on a story about her for two years, but that she was not willing to be interviewed by him because of an earlier story she disliked about LSU football coach Brian Kelly. “After two years of trying to get me to sit with him for an interview, he contacts LSU on Tuesday as we were getting ready for the first-round game of this tournament with more than a dozen questions, demanding a response by Thursday right before we’re scheduled to tip-off. Are you kidding me?”

She said she believed the reporter set a deadline that couldn’t be met in “an attempt to prevent me from commenting and an attempt to distract us from this tournament.”

“It ain’t going to work, buddy,” she said.

Mulkey criticized the reporter for reaching out to some of her former players, and said they were offered anonymity to say negative things about her.

“But you see, reporters who give a megaphone to a one-sided, embellished version of things aren’t trying to tell the truth. 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,” Mulkey said.

No. 3 seed LSU beat 14th-seeded Rice 70-60 on Friday and will play No. 11 seed Middle Tennessee on Sunday.

(Photo: Eakin Howard / Getty Images)

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