Kobe Bryant is no longer amongst the living. It has been 13 days since the tragic incident and I am still having a hard time believing I had to pen those words. The unexpected and tragic death of Kobe, his daughter Gianna, John and Keri Altobelli and their daughter Keri, Christina Mauser, Sarah and Payton Chester and Ara Zobayan in a helicopter crash caused an outpouring of support for the victims and their surviving relatives.
The still-smoldering helicopter on that mountain in Calabasas served as the proverbial homing beacon for some of the dregs of humanity to begin to their posthumous attack on Kobe. These slanderous statements did not just come from egg avatar, three followers Twitter but also from people who have (allegedly) achieved some level of notoriety.
One of the most disgustingly outspoken pervaders of this slander was Abigail Disney ( yes of that Disney family), who tweeted out ,” I haven’t said anything about Kobe so far because I felt some time needed to pass before weighing in. But yes, it’s time for the sledgehammer to come out. The man was a rapist. Deal with it.”
It is easy to gather from Disney’s own words that she had that take in the chamber ready to go and she couldn’t hold it in anymore. Rightfully so, she received more than her fair share of backlash , as many people responded to her tweet and took her to task in the ensuing thread ( unfortunately there were a fair amount of people in that thread supporting what she had to say). However, instead of having a moment of contrition amidst the rancor that was directed her way; Disney dug her heels and doubled down on her initial comments. In a 24-tweet diatribe that included such lowlights as comparing the deceased basketball legend to some killing a person while driving drunk and then apologizing for it and still accusing Bryant of rape by saying he should have acknowledged what he had done. She also cast herself in the victim role as well; by saying she too had been assaulted. I wonder where was this reaction when the news broke about the women that were assaulted and victimized in the cult co-led by actress Allison Mack.
Disney was certainly quiet about the still-very alive and can be ( but likely will not) held accountable Harvey Weinstein. She was as quiet as a church mouse peeing on cotton when multiple women accused Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of rape.
As deplorable as Abigail Disney’s comments were, she would not be the only one to proverbially spit on Kobe’s grave. Evan Rachel Wood, an actress that I had never heard of decided that the world needed to needed to hear her vile take on the tragedy. In a now-deleted tweet that was put out a mere few hours after the tragic crash, Wood said, “I am heartbroken for Kobe’s family. He was a sports hero, He was also a rapist. And all of these truths can exist simultaneously.”
I find it to be the height of hypocrisy that she decided to take a swipe at Kobe, who can no longer, but yet has, and continues to be silent on Woody Allen, whom she has worked with but has been accused of sexual abuse by his own daughter, Dylan. I wonder why that has been the case?
However, the reigning, defending undisputed champion of this wave of slander is Gayle King. The woman, whose claim-to-fame is being Oprah Winfrey’s bff, took the Kobe smear campaign from the online realm into the real world. In a recent sit down with basketball legend Lisa Leslie, King made the ludicrous statement that Bryant’s legacy was “complicated” due to those allegations back in 2003. She attempted to get Leslie, who was a good friend of Kobe’s ,to co-sign the agenda she was shoveling and ,I am sure much to her chagrin, did not take bait and join in on tearing down this man down, posthumously. I would call this bush league journalism, but that would be insulting to all things considered bush league; not since Cari Champion’s “interview” with Dwight Howard have I seen such a dereliction of journalistic duty.
Gayle King, since you have shown to be unbelievably inept at your job, let me help you- if you were going to ask about Colorado, the best way to phrase it would have been something like this: “How was Kobe affected by the incident in Colorado?” Asking in that manner gets your jollies by getting to bring up Eagle, and it also would have potentially shone a light on that time in Kobe’s life from an insider and would have allowed Lisa Leslie to put Kobe over. However, asking a question in that manner would require forethought, preparation and attention to detail neither you nor your paymasters seem to possess. Excluding the death threats, which are not ok, Gayle King has deserved every bit of animus, which has come from regular people to celebrities, as she rightfully earned it.
I have to tip my cap to Lisa Leslie for staying on code and being a real friend to Kobe and not slandering him on national television.
Some of the people whose disgusting actions and words we have pointed out have stated that Kobe Bryant is not a deity, which is true. However they are using it merely as a smokescreen before they say what they wanted to say all along. Kobe Bryant was a man; he was a son, a brother, a husband and a father who without question possessed frailties and shortcomings. In lieu of his untimely demise, honoring a person, in Kobe, who reached the pinnacle of athletic competition and achievement in basketball, inspired millions, including a subsequent generation of athletes and was making waves in his post-NBA career, falls far short of deification. What has once again been shown to be painfully true is that a black man’s legacy is under attack during his lifetime but incessantly so upon his death.
Though I know the Bryant family is dealing with this prodigious loss, I think they should consider slapping a lawsuit on some of these crum bums who have slandered their husband and father.