April 19, 2024


UPDATED with statement: Los Angeles Times columnist Ben Bolch, who came under widespread fire for a column about the LSUUCLA Women’s NCAA tournament matchup in which he called the Lady Tigers “dirty debutantes” and called them “villains,” while calling the Bruins “milk and cookies,” has apologized.

Bloch says that he “failed miserably in my choice of words,” admitting that he “tried to be clever in my phrasing about one team’s attitude, using alliteration while not understanding the deeply offensive connotation or associations.” (See LSU women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey‘s point on that below.)

He goes on to write that while he did not intend to be hurtful, “the words I used were wrong.”

PREVIOUSLY on Sunday: A Los Angeles Times column criticized as “sexist” by LSU women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey was changed online by the newspaper early this morning because it “did not meet Times editorial standards.”

LSU beat UCLA 78-69 on Saturday to advance in the Women’s NCAA tournament. Before the game, columnist Ben Bolch wrote that the Lady Tigers were “dirty debutantes” and called them “villains,” while calling the Bruins “milk and cookies.” He called the matchup “good versus evil.”

Bolch’s column was updated at 12:55 a.m. ET, with an update notice inserted at 1:10 a.m. All of the phrases were removed, though the headline still refers to “villains.”

“The one thing I’m not going to let you do, I’m not going to let you attack young people, and there were some things in this commentary, guys, that you should be offended by as women. It was so sexist, and they don’t even know it,” Mulkey said Saturday.

“It was good versus evil in that game today. Evil? Called us dirty debutantes? Take your phone out right now and Google dirty debutantes and tell me what it says. Dirty debutantes? Are you kidding me? I’m not going to let you talk about 18-to-21-year-old kids in that tone.”

The LSU coach has already been in a public feud with the Washington Post, which published a profile of her last week that Mulkey called a “hit piece.” She threatened to sue for defamation prior to its publication. The profile details her past relationships with her family and players.

The story said Mulkey clashed with players “about their appearances and displays of their sexuality,” while her lawyers said in the piece that she did not treat gay players “more harshly or differently.”


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