It’s been 221 days since Britney Griner was initially detained in Russia, and in that time Kim Mulkey, the coach with whom she won the national title at Baylor, hasn’t said anything about it. This continued on Monday when she officially declined to comment, dismissing a question about Griner while speaking to reporters at her first pre-season practice this year.
Mulkey, who took over the LSU women’s basketball team last year, asked the Daily Advertiser’s Corey Diaz a two-part question. The second question was about Griner.
“I just want to know what you think about the Britney Griner situation,” Diaz said. “I don’t think I’ve seen anything from you about this, and just…”
“And you won’t,” Mulkey said. “I’ll answer first for you.”
Griner, who turns 32 next month, played for Mulkey at Baylor from 2009 to 2013. In Griner’s junior year, the Bears were undefeated 40–0 to win the national championship. Griner was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, as well as the AP Player of the Year and the Wade Trophy Player of the Year. She also won the Wade in 2013 and then finished first overall at the Phoenix Mercury where she has spent her entire WNBA career.
Mulkey and Griner fell out almost a decade ago, and the star’s relationship with Baylor has been strained. A few months before she was arrested, Griner told ESPN she hoped for a better relationship from my alma mater and one day I’ll see her jersey retire.
Griner, who plays in Russia during the WNBA offseason, was arrested Feb. 17 at a Moscow airport for smuggling cannabis into Russia, according to local authorities. She pleaded guilty to drug possession and drug smuggling with criminal intent in respect of 0.702 grams of hash oil, which she said she was in possession of for medical reasons. The Russian authorities gave her almost the maximum sentence of nine years in a strict regime colony. The US government is working on a deal for her release, as well as the release of American prisoner Paul Whelan.
Griner’s relationship with Mulkey, Baylor
Malka’s silence on Griner’s detention and recent verdict widely known in college basketball circles. The basketball world has spoken out about the situation at every major moment, including last month when she was convicted and sentenced. Most at least said they hope Griner is safe and able to return home to the US soon.
Just Women’s Sports turned to Malki and LSU on the same day, but the application was not provided. It was an emotional day in the WNBA, although the verdict was expected and seen as a necessary next step for the US government to negotiate her release.
Griner and Mulka have had a strained relationship since the player’s last days at school. At a pivotal moment for the time, Griner publicly revealed that she was a lesbian ahead of the 2013 WNBA draft. She told reporters that she was called shut up about your sexuality at Baylor, a private Baptist university in Texas. Griner also addressed this in her 2014 book In My Skin. She said it wasn’t meant to be a shot at Mulkey, but instead was a remark about the culture and community of Baylor in general.
The school includes a policy in its student handbook that sex should be limited to heterosexual marriage. In May, a decision was made to provide support to all students, regardless of their “sexual orientation or gender identity.” He still noted that “sexual relations of any kind outside of marriage” should not take place.
Baylor comments on Griner
Baylor has also been criticized for his poor commentary. Following Griner’s conviction, he released a statement to Just Women’s Sports, in stark contrast to organizations that have released statements on their social accounts.
“Given the disturbing news of Britney Greener’s sentencing and sentencing, we continue to pray for her continued strength and safety during her detention,” Baylor said in a statement. “We recognize the extreme complexity of this situation, but we remain hopeful for the day when it sets foot on US soil again.”
News of Griner’s detention first broke on March 5. Baylor released a statement the same day, calling it “alarming.” and what their “Thoughts and prayers with BG and her family.” From then until her sentencing on August 5, nothing was said or published.
Baylor Athletics Twitter account shared a video and urged Griner to return home July 8, but it was not transferred to the main accounts of the university.
Nicky Collen, the former Atlanta Dream coach who replaced Mulkey at Baylor, has tweeted about Griner many times and shared a petition in May to bring her home.
Former Baylor players speak out after Malka’s comments
Indiana Fever forward Queen Agbo, who played for Mulkey at Baylor from 2018-21, and WNBA free agent Chloe Jackson, who played at Baylor from 2018-2019, tweeted after Mulkey’s comments circulated.