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Coach who had Brittney Griner stay in the closet encourages fans to punch Baylor naysayers

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Kim Mulkey thinks Baylor culture is fine for women.

NCAA Women's Championship Game - Notre Dame v Baylor
Kim Mulkey won a national title in 2012 with Brittney Griner.
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Baylor Univ. women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey isn’t happy with how the culture at Baylor has been portrayed of late. That culture includes the cover-up of a highly publicized sexual assault by a football player and now a lawsuit alleging at least 52 rapes by 31 football players over four years.

Mulkey is having none of the chatter.

“If somebody around you and they ever say, ‘I will never send my daughter to Baylor,’ you knock them right in the face,” Mulkey told fans in a post-game speech on Saturday.

Mulkey also claimed that Baylor is “the best damned school in America.” US News & World Report ranks Baylor No. 71, making it not even one of the top two schools in Texas.

It’s at the same time surprising and predictable, coming from Mulkey. Brittney Griner wrote about the atmosphere of fear Mulkey creates for LGBT athletes, allegedly pushing Griner to stay in the closet while she was there. Emily Nkosi wrote about the atmosphere as well, wishing she had done something about it while she was at Baylor.

Until recently, Baylor had a policy banning homosexuality.

Mulkey expressed regret about her comment.

The fact that Mulkey wants people to punch anyone who says the atmosphere at Baylor is anything less than wonderful for women is, no matter how you look at it, very sad.

The one thing you have to give to Mulkey is she’s a heck of a basketball coach. She’s won the Big XII and gone to at least the Elite Eight each of the last six seasons, winning national titles in 2005 and 2012. Baylor locked up its seventh straight conference title this weekend.

For a lot of LGBT people — and now many people concerned about the atmosphere for women on Mulkey’s team — that doesn’t begin to cover the environment of fear she has allegedly helped create (and now dismiss) at Baylor.

For more about Baylor, and the culture of sexual assault in college football, follow Jessica Luther. You can also find Baylor news at Our Daily Bears.