Just as the debris was settling following the controversy surrounding CBS network host, Gayle King‘s comments during an interview where she referenced Kobe Bryant‘s sexual assault charges, somebody else has decided to give their opinion on the matter.
This time, however, the words are coming from the NBA Hall-of-Famer, Charles Bakley, where he appeared on the Today Show and spoke about how people should perceive the legacy of the late-Bryant. Suffice it to say that this is looking like a case of Deja Vu.
To Barkley, it was only fair to judge a person based on everything that happened during their life, not simply the accomplishments, which in Bryant’s case, were his countless basketball accolades. Barkley shared that he thinks people shouldn’t forget about the rape charges that were levied against Bryant in 2003.
“You have to tell the picture in totality,” Barkley said just ahead of the NBA All-Star break. “We’re not making Kobe out to be no hero. We’re celebrating his basketball excellence. We understand what happened in Colorado. That’s fair, but two things can be true.”
#CharlesBarkley says #KobeBryant SHOULD be remembered for rape allegation AND career https://t.co/kba6g1aImZ via @MailOnline
Often times people confuse #competence with #character especially when discussing high profile and/or highly successful individuals.
— Jim (@CSMUSArmy) February 14, 2020
Barkley went on to say that Bryant was one of the best basketball players to have ever lived, but just like everybody else, there are always flaws. “Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest basketball players ever. And he had a flaw that we all know about,” he concluded.
Bryant was accused of rape by an unnamed 19-year-old hotel employee back in 2003; however, the criminal charges were dismissed and a settlement with the alleged victim was reached in civil court for an undisclosed amount.
📣 New Podcast! "Shaq, Kenny & Charles Didn't Push Back When It Came To Defending Friend And Colleague Kobe Bryant." on @Spreaker #accountability #black_history_month #black_lives_matter #blackwomenvs_blackmen #celebrityapologies #charlesbarkley https://t.co/UEIPgcKq72
— Kimberly Frazier (@Ladylynn2141) February 14, 2020
While Bryant admitted to having sex with the woman, he claimed that the encounter was completely consensual. He later apologized to his wife in a joint press conference, where she was seen holding his hand and supporting him through the ordeal. Regardless, though, people on social media didn’t take kindly to what seemed to be another media head trying to get attention on national television.
“Here we go again. Another moron trying to be cool with the networks ??♀️ Charles Barkley is disgraceful,” one person tweeted, while another shared, “God is our Judge. I totally disagree with Gayle King & Charles Barkley for totally disrespecting the legacy of Mr. Kobe Bryant, his family, friends & fans,” another fan tweeted.
While both Gayle King and Charles Barkley have points in discussing the totality of what was Kobe Bryant, the method they’re going about just doesn’t seem right or appropriate, especially given the amount of time that has passed since the tragic and untimely death of Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, along with seven other passengers in the Calabasas helicopter crash.
But if the backlash on Barkley is anything like King experienced, this situation could get a lot worse, before it gets better.