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LSU women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey declined to comment on Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia during a press conference on Monday, leading to backlash from former Baylor players. Meanwhile, current Baylor head coach Nicki Collen spoke at length about the situation, calling it a “human rights issue.”
Mulkey, who was Griner’s head coach at Baylor when the two got into an argument in 2013, was asked by a reporter for her opinion on the WNBA star’s plight, adding that he had not seen any comments from her on the matter.
Brittney Griner #42 (L) and Jordan Madden (R) #3 of the Baylor Bears hug head coach Kim Mulkey after beating Notre Dame Fighting Irish 80-61 in the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship National Finals at Pepsi Center on April 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Mulkey interrupted the question and said, “And you won’t.”
SITUATION BRITTNEY GRINER FEARS WNBA PLAYERS FROM RUSSIA
The incident prompted two former players to speak out against Mulkey’s comment.
Former Baylor center and 2022 WNBA Draft first round pick, Queen Egbo, took to Twitter to seemingly warn recruits about the head coach.
WNBA guard Chloe Jackson, who played at Baylor from 2018-2019, also tweeted about Mulkey’s “silence.”
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Baylor’s current head coach, Nicki Collen, was also asked about the situation, and although she has never personally coached Griner, she spoke about her impact on women’s basketball and looked at her situation through a more personal lens.
“I think BG is first and foremost the human being. I think this is a human rights issue. Nobody is saying she didn’t make a mistake. None of us are perfect. But I think I would like to know if I did something and was stuck in a foreign land, and what it was, what it wasn’t I think we all know that 10 years is a long time I see her as a mother, as a sister, as a husband, as a daughter, as an incredible ambassador for the game of basketball.”
Baylor Bears head coach Nicki Collen watches from the sidelines during the first round of the 2022 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament against the Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine, held at the Ferrell Center on March 18, 2022 in Waco, Texas. (Darren Carroll/NCAA photos via Getty Images)
She continued: “I just think about what it would be like to be away from my family for over 200 days. That’s primarily for me. I think this is a humanitarian thing… We should do everything we can to get Brittney home.”
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Mulkey’s comment was brought up in a question to Collen, but she was not asked to comment on it, to which she replied, “Thank you.”
Brittney Griner (42) and Baylor University head coach Kim Mulkey celebrate after defeating the University of Notre Dame in the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship held at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. Baylor defeated Notre Dame 80-61 to win the national title. (Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Image)
According to ESPN, Griner and Mulkey had an argument in 2013 when she claimed that players on the team were told not to talk openly about their sexuality.
Collen added that she spoke to Griner after taking the coaching job at Baylor in 2021 about getting her back on campus and having her jersey retired.
“She made Baylor a household name,” she said.
Paulina Dedaj is a digital reporter for Fox News and Fox Business. Follow Paulina Dedaj on Twitter at @PaulinaDedaj. If you have any tip, you can email Paulina at Paulina.Dedaj@fox.com