LA Times reporter apologizes for controversial LSU column: ‘Failed miserably’

LA Times reporter apologizes for controversial LSU column: ‘Failed miserably’

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The Los Angeles Times writer responsible for the weekend column on LSU has issued an apology on Monday for the universally criticized piece. 

LSU head coach Kim Mulkey tore into Ben Bolch for the article that described the Sweet 16 game between UCLA and LSU as a “reckoning” between good and evil and took issue with his characterizations such as  “dirty debutantes” and comparing the game between the Tigers and Bruins as “Louisiana hot sauce” and “milk and cookies.” 

Mulkey referred to the piece as “sexist.” 

Los Angeles Times writer Ben Bolch apologized for this controversial column on the LSU-UCLA match-up. AP
LSU coach Kim Mulkey coaches during the Tigers’ loss to Iowa in the Elite Eight on Monday. Getty Images

Bolch, who covers UCLA for the L.A. Times, was panned for the article and even Skip Bayless criticized the Times for publication of the piece. 

“Words matter. As a journalist, no one should know this more than me. Yet, I have failed miserably in my choice of words,” Bolch wrote in an apology posted online. 

“In my column previewing the LSU-UCLA women’s basketball game, I tried to be clever in my phrasing about one team’s attitude, using alliteration while not understanding the deeply offensive connotations or associations. I also used metaphors that were not appropriate. Our society has had to deal with so many layers of misogyny, racism, and negativity that I can now see why the words I used were wrong. It was not my intent to be hurtful, but I now understand that I terribly missed the mark.”

The Los Angeles Times removed the offensive language over the weekend and said in a statement that “it did not meet Times editorial standards.” 

The pieces had not only been seen by Mulkey, but by a number of LSU players, including Hailey Van Lith who candidly spoke about it over the weekend and called into question the racial undertones of the piece. 

LSU star Angel Reese is pictured during LSU’s game against Iowa on Monday. Getty Images

“I sincerely apologize to the LSU and UCLA basketball teams and to our readers,” Bolch said in his apology. “UCLA, a school I have covered for nearly a decade, champions diversity and is known as a leader in inclusivity. However, I have not upheld that standard in what I wrote, and I will do much better. I am deeply sorry.”

LSU’s season ultimately came to an end on Monday night when Iowa defeated the Tigers 94-87 in the Elite Eight in Albany.

Christian Arnold

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