LSU women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey was asked at her team’s first preseason practice Monday about her thoughts on Brittney Griner’s detainment in Russia.
Mulkey coached Griner at Baylor from 2009-13 but has refrained from commenting publicly on her former player’s plight, and she maintained her silence when asked for her thoughts by The Daily Advertiser‘s Cory Diaz.
“I don’t think I’ve seen anything from you on that,” the reporter noted.
“And you won’t,” Mulkey said.
Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony on Aug. 4, more than six months after she initially was detained at a Russian airport. She was also fined $1 million rubles, which equates to roughly $16,000 in U.S. currency.
While many voices across the sports world have spoken out in support of Griner, including current Baylor head coach Nicki Collen, Mulkey has remained silent.
Mulkey’s only known comment about Griner’s situation came back in June on the Tiger Rag podcast, per ESPN’s M.A. Voepel. The coach said at the time that while she was keeping up with the news “as far as what’s in the national media,” she was opting to remain silent publicly.
“I think that’s a personal issue,” she said. “You just want everybody to come home safely. And I pray for Brittney, I want her home safely. I think there’s lots of people speaking out on her behalf. Those of us who don’t necessarily speak publicly about it certainly are praying for her.”
While at Baylor, Griner helped the team to a national championship, capping off a historic 40-0 undefeated season in 2011-12. That season, Griner was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four.
The U.S. State Department has been working for the release of Griner, making an offer for her release as well as U.S. marine Paul Whelan back in July.