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Kim Mulkey, the coach of LSU women’s basketball, is subjected to unfair scrutiny.

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Kim Mulkey, the coach of LSU women’s basketball, is one of the most colorful and controversial personalities in collegiate basketball. She is unique from other male coaches in the same role, though, not just because of her personality and teaching approach but also because of the amount of hate and scrutiny she endures.

Mulkey has been the target of intense media interest lately. Her personal background, particularly her decades-long alienation from her father, was covered in-depth in a Washington Post feature. Although there are others who contend that her private life is open for discussion, the breadth and intensity of the reporting went too far and into unsettling areas.

After that, an editorial in the Los Angeles Times inaccurately painted her squad as “dirty debutantes,” which made the issue even worse. In addition to criticizing Mulkey’s coaching methods, the piece delved into racism and misogyny and presented an unsettling portrait of how the media treats accomplished female athletes.

Mulkey responded with a reasonable amount of wrath. She had a right to defend her team against unfair criticism since she was a mother, a grandmother, and a role model for young athletes. However, the backlash to her response served as more evidence of the unfair treatment she receives as a woman in a field that has historically been controlled by men.

There is no denying Mulkey’s shortcomings. She frequently defies social standards and may be contentious and opinionated. These qualities, however, do not excuse her from the constant scrutiny and criticism she faces. Even more heinous acts by male coaches are frequently spared from the same degree of public attention and censure.

Consider the cases of D.J. Durkin, whose coaching style was connected to a player’s death, and Chris Beard, who was sacked for domestic abuse. They were not subjected to the same degree of public scrutiny as Mulkey, despite having questionable pasts.

Furthermore, it is inappropriate to sensationalize Mulkey’s private life—including her connection with her father—just to make a headline. Everybody has complex family relationships, and it is immoral and intrusive to use them for public gain.

Mulkey is not wrong to claim that she experiences racism and misogyny. Her portrayal by the media is a reflection of larger prejudices in society against successful women, especially those who defy gender norms.

In the end, the public conversation surrounding Mulkey and her group is the issue, not the woman herself. Their constant scrutiny and unjust criticism are signs of larger social problems that need to be addressed.

Reporters that offer a one-sided, inflated account of events a large platform are not attempting to provide the whole story, as Mulkey so eloquently states. They’re attempting to fuel the click-machine and sell newspapers.” It’s time to hold the media accountable and confront the institutionalized prejudices that support the unequal treatment of women in sports. Till then, Mulkey and similar individuals will be viewed through a severe prism that no male coach encounters.

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