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“Comes Across as Racist to Me”: Skip Bayless Agrees, Responds to Hailey Van Lith’s Sentiments About LA Times Article

Shubham Singh

"Comes Across as Racist to Me": Skip Bayless Agrees, Responds to Hailey Van Lith's Sentiments About LA Times Article

LA Times’ Ben Bloch triggered a storm after publishing an article previewing the Sweet 16 match between LSU and UCLA in the binary of “good and evil”. Critics of the article pointed out how the labeling of Angel Reese’s LSU squad as “dirty debutantes” has supposed “racial undertones”. Angel Reese’s teammate Hailey Van Lith also took exception to what she termed “racial bias”

Agreeing with Lith’s statements, ‘Undisputed’s host Skip Bayless said that he found the article framing problematic but was unsure if the author Bloch is “really racist”. The former editor pointed out how the write-ups at the LA Times go through multiple editors before being published. As a former employee of the LA Times, Bayles was astounded how the term “dirty debutantes” got the nod of the editorial board. 

The FS1 analyst also highlighted that since Kim Mulkey is not afraid to “attack back” against journalists, Bloch may have attached the “evil” connotation to her squad. This may have been the trigger point for him to such strong terms. But above all, he centered the conversation on the term “dirty debutantes” and pointed out that the term has racist connotations. 

‘Dirty debutantes’ comes through and it becomes the flashpoint of the article. It comes across as racist to me. That is a racist description,” Bayless told co-hosts Keyshawn Johnson and Paul Pierce.

Thus, like his former Undisputed co-host Shannon Sharpe, the 72-year-old has also taken exception to the LA Times article. Meanwhile, the publication had to edit sections of the article after Kim Mulkey called them out. Her squad’s guard Hailey Van Lith also didn’t hold back when critiquing the piece.

Kim Mulkey and Hailey Van Lith clapped back at LA Times

In the post-game conference, after the win against UCLA, LSU head coach Kim Mulkey didn’t mince her words. She found the LA Times piece sexist and thus, lambasted the author for terming her squad as “evil”. However, the term “dirty debutantes” seemingly irked her the most. She urged women to recognize that usage of such terms implies sexism and that they should speak out against it strongly.

Credits: USA TODAY Sports

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 am not gonna let you talk about 18 to 21 years old kids in that tone,” Mulkey chided LA Times.

LSU guard Hailey Van Lith also took a stand for her team. She found the article “racist” and acknowledged the double standards in place against black athletes. Like many, she also expressed frustration over the term “dirty debutantes”. For her reading the article was a “soul-crushing experience”.

The dirty debutantes, that had nothing to do with sports. That’s not motivating. I wish we hadn’t read that because that can crush your soul”, Hailey Van Lith bemoaned.

While the outrage over the term “dirty debutantes” has spread like wildfire, the overall crux of the article has rendered many readers fuming. The LA Times retracted many parts of the article but has left question marks around its editorial standards.

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

About the author

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh


Shubham Singh is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush. He found his passion in Writing when he couldn't fulfil his dream of playing professional basketball. Shubham is obsessed with box scores and also loves to keep track of advanced stats and is, particularly, fond of writing CoreSport analytical pieces. In the league, his all time favorites were 80s Bad Boys, Pistons, while Dennis Rodman and his enthralling rebounding made him love the game more. It also made him realize that the game is much more than fancy scoring and playmaking. Shubham is also a huge fan of cricket and loves to watch all forms of women sports.

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