L.A. Times, LSU

L.A. Times Writer Apologizes For Racist Language Toward LSU Players

Los Angeles Times writer Ben Bolch apologizes for the racist and sexist language used toward the LSU women's basketball players in a recent article.

A writer for the Los Angeles Times is backtracking after a recent article used sexist and racist descriptions of the LSU women’s basketball team. The team comprises prominent Black female players such as Flau’jae Johnson and Angel Reese.

In an article written on March 30, ahead of LSU’s game against the UCLA Bruins, Ben Bolch described the highly-anticipated match as “good versus evil.” The evil referred to the Kim Mulkey-led Tigers and her predominately Black squad.

The piece was originally meant to respond to a controversial Washington Post profile on Mulkey. However, it directed numerous insults toward the collegiate girls. While the Bruin athletes were described as classy, LSU were the “villains” of the match. Instead of “America’s sweethearts” on UCLA’s team, LSU had “dirty debutantes” intending to ruin the good nature of the game.

The piece quickly made its rounds on social media to criticism. With the hyper-sexualization and vilification of Black women on full display, Bolch released a “long overdue” apology on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“It has taken me two days to write this apology because I wanted to be as thoughtful as possible in my response to the situation I have created…Words matter. As a journalist, no one should know this more than me. Yet I have failed miserably in my words,” stated Bolch in the April 1 post.

He then acknowledged the misogyny and racism at play in his article and society in general. However, he emphasized his intention to not further fuel these hateful issues through his writing.

“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,” he wrote. “It was not my intent to be hurtful, but I now understand that I terribly missed the mark.”

Those most impacted by his words, LSU’s Black players, have yet to directly comment on the article.