- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 27, 2021

LSU’s new women’s basketball coach, Kim Mulkey, sparked a round of applause after she dramatically ripped off her face mask during her introductory press conference Monday.

“I’m gonna take this damn mask off,” Ms. Mulkey said as she took off her LSU mask and flung it to the side at the top of her speech. “’Cause I have a lot to say.”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, was photographed wearing a mask while sitting in the front row of Ms. Mulkey‘s speech at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge.

Ms. Mulkey, an Olympic gold medalist and Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer who is originally from Louisiana, will coach the Tigers after spending more than two decades at Baylor University in Texas, where she led the Bears to three NCAA championships.

At one point during her speech Monday, Ms. Mulkey called attention to the five Women’s Final Four banners hanging in the arena.

“Nowhere on there does it say ‘national champion,’” she said. “That’s what I came here to do.”

Ms. Mulkey made headlines last month after she said the NCAA should get rid of its daily COVID-19 testing ahead of the Final Four.

“They need to dump the COVID testing,” she said on March 29. “Wouldn’t it be a shame to keep COVID testing, and then you got kids [testing] positive or something, and they don’t get to play in the Final Four? So you need to just forget the COVID tests and let the four teams that are playing in each Final Four go battle it out.”

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