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Gayle King Admits to Oprah Winfrey That The 'Kobe Bryant' Comments Backlash Was 'Very Painful'

Gettyimages | Ilya S. Savenok
By Zachary Holt

Several weeks ago, CBS network host, Gayle King, made some comments about Kobe Bryant's legacy in an interview with WNBA legend, Lisa Leslie. Her comments addressed the notion of whether or not Bryant's legacy would be tainted by the sexual assault allegations that were levied against him years before.

Of course, given the proximity of time that had passed since his unfortunate and tragic passing, people were outraged. In fact, so much so, that she was receiving death threats and required a heightened security detail while making public appearances. According to King, it was a very painful experience, which she explained to Oprah.

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King Addresses the Backlash She Received From Kobe Bryant Comments

Gettyimages | Dia Dipasupil

King recently appeared on Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus Tour in Denver, which has featured a number of high-profile people and celebrities including Michelle Obama, Jennifer Lopez, and Julianne Hough. While King was on stage with her friend, Oprah, she was asked about the backlash she received from making comments on Kobe Bryant during the interview with Leslie.

King explained that at the time, it was a very painful experience and something that she hasn't forgotten, despite making an effort to move on from the incident and the death threats she received on social media.

'I Put on My Game Face and My Big Girl Pants Because I Never Lost Sight of Who I Was, What I Believe I Am'

Gettyimages | John Lamparski

"I have moved on. Is there a scab? Yeah. But I have moved on," King told Oprah, explaining her difficult time. "I put on my game face and my big girl pants, because I never lost sight of who I was, what I believe I am, and my intention. I’ve never lost sight of that. But it certainly was a learning curve, and it was very painful."

At the time of her comments, very little were taking a stand to defend the CBS program host, resulting in King making an apology video where she shared that she would be upset too if she saw how the comments were taken out of context.

Snoop Dogg Attacks King on Social Media Following Her Comments on Kobe Bryant's Legacy

Gettyimages | Phillip Faraone

Rapper, Snoop Dogg, was one of the people to take exception to King's comments, unloading in a vitriolic and profanity-laced rant that accused her of trying to take down successful black men, while allowing those who had similar flaws and were white, to fly under the radar, i.e., Harvey Weinstein.

"Gayle King, you’re out of pocket for that s--t," Snoop said in his social media post. "Way out of pocket. What do you gain from that? We expect more from you Gayle. Don’t you hang out with Oprah? Why are you all attacking us?"

"We’re your people. You don’t come after Harvey Weinstein, asking those dumb--s questions. I’m sick of y’all. Funky doghead b---h. How dare you try to torch my homeboy’s reputation, punk motherf---er. Respect the family and back off, b---h, before we come get you."

King Believes People Need to Be Respectful, Despite Disagreements

Gettyimages | John Lamparski

Other notable people came after, as well, including 50 Cent. While on stage, though, Oprah explained that there should have been more people who came to her defense as someone working as an objective journalist. King responded by sharing people need to be able to have constructive conversations about hard-to-talk-about issues, even if they disagree.

"I think we can disagree politically, we can disagree socially, if you want to, but I just think humanity should prevail always," she said. "I think we still have to figure out a way to navigate that with each other. That we can disagree, and you can be mad at me even, but you can’t speak to me the way I was spoken to and threatened."

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