by G. Brown
The first week after the death of NBA great Kobe Bryant has been filled with endless heartfelt posts memorializing him as a legendary athlete, a philanthropist, a wonderful husband and father. But even as much of the world mourns Kobe, there are those who prefer to trample centuries of sage wisdom cautioning against speaking ill of the dead.
Disney heiress Abigail Disney apparently couldn’t tolerate the constant outpouring of love and respect for Kobe in the aftermath of his death, so she posted this…
Three days after Kobe’s death and she felt Bryant’s widow and children had enough time to mourn and it was fair game for her to spew hateful rhetoric.
Abigail Disney is the granddaughter of Roy O. Disney who along with her great uncle Walt founded the happiest place on earth that is Disneyland. Perhaps it was the title of social activist that made Abigail feel compelled to remind the public that Kobe had been accused of rape.
In 2003, a 19-year-old hotel employee in Edwards Colorado accused Bryant of raping her in his hotel room. Bryant admitted that he and the woman engaged in consensual sex, but adamantly denied raping her. When the case made it to court, the woman refused to testify amid reports that she lied about several details and reported evidence of multiple sex partners uncovered during her rape examination. The court case was dismissed. Later Kobe’s accuser filed a civil suit that was settled out of court for what some estimate was at least $2 million.
Kobe made a public apology but never admitted guilt. The charges against him were dismissed in court and even the accuser backpedaled on her version of what actually happened.
Before Disney’s comment, a comedian celebrated Kobe’s death with a video saying “the basketball legend ‘died 23 years too late.'”(Rollingout) Ari Shaffir went on to say, “He [Kobe] got away with rape because all the Hollywood liberals who attack comedy enjoy rooting for the Lakers more than they dislike rape. Big ups to the hero who forgot to gas up his chopper.”
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Perhaps Shaffir thought as a comedian, he could say all this as a joke. Fans and just decent human beings on social media found no humor in Shaffir’s hateful remarks….
Kobe was accused of rape…just like the current occupant of the White House. But unlike Kobe, Trump hasn’t been cleared of the charges and latest reports are that the accuser is now seeking Trump’s DNA to match against evidence in the alleged rape. It’s mindboggling how a man accused of at least 23 cases of sexual assault, and accused of rape by two separate women(one of whom was his first wife) is heralded as a leader this country should protect and support as he seeks a second Presidential term even after being impeached.
While another man whose pro career was comprised of countless awards including a 5 time NBA Champion, 2 time NBA Finals MVP, 4 time NBA All-Star Game MVP, 11 Time All-NBA First Team, 2 time NBA Scoring Champ, and dedication to numerous philanthropic causes such as founding a Family Foundation to help young people in need, champion causes to help the homeless and who at the time of his death was working on a children’s book to inspire underprivileged children should be remembered as a man accused of a dismissed rape charge?
As for the Disney heiress who deemed it her duty to bring out the “sledgehammer” against Kobe—there’s chatter about boycotting Disney. Live by the sledgehammer, die by the sledgehammer.
What is the sum of a man? Is it the good deeds he’s done? Is it the mistakes he’s made? Is it all of that and more? Perhaps the better question, what right does anyone have to sit in judgment of the dead? Life is not a straight line, it’s not a compilation of just good or just evil…for most of us, life is a composite of all that we’ve done and said. With Kobe, it seems the good outweighs the bad.