Should Gayle King Have Cast A Shadow On Kobe Bryant’s Legacy?
The dust has settled on Gayle King’s interview with former WNBA player Lisa Leslie. Snoop Dogg eviscerated King in a video that went viral, Twitter exploded in outrage against King, Bill Cosby gave his two cents from prison, Snoop apologized, King accepted. It’s over.
The question remains, should Gayle King have “gone there”?
King’s interview with Lisa Leslie
In the interview with Leslie, the journalist spoke at length with the Triplets head coach who had known Bryant since he was eighteen about a variety of topics. The two women talked about Leslie’s close friendship with the late basketball legend, his daughter Gianna, and then, King brought up the topic that set the outrage off – the rape accusation leveled against Bryant in 2003.
When asked if Bryant’s legacy was complicated for her because of these charges, Leslie answered with unquestioning belief in her late friend.
“It’s not complicated for me at all. There’s been a few times that we’ve been at a club at the same time. Kobe’s not the type of guy, never been, who’s like ‘Lisa, go get that girl, tell her, send her this.’ . . . I’ve just never seen him being the kind of person that would do something to violate a woman or be aggressive in that way. That’s just not the person that I know.”
Celebrities’ reactions to King’s interview
Feedback from Twitter and celebrities was swift. As mentioned, Snoop Dogg went on a rant with a video voicing his intense disappointment in King. “Gail King, outta pocket for that s**t, way outta pocket. What do you gain from that? We expect more from you, Gail. Don’t you hang out with Oprah?” Snoop Dogg took his comments even further telling the journalist to “back off, before we come get you.”
LeBron James tweeted earlier this month, “Protect @LisaLeslie at all cost! You’re a real Superhero!! Sorry you had to through that s*%#!!! We are our own worse enemies! #Mamba4Life.”
Support for King was there as well, with #IStandWithGayle hashtag making its rounds on Twitter.
Celebrities voiced their backing of the beleaguered journalist, including Amy Schumer who posted on Instagram, “I stand fiercely with @gayleking one of the most beloved journalists, mothers and friends of our time. However you feel about her interview, her receiving serious death threats is disgustingly unfair and unacceptable.”
Other journalists and public figures also spoke up for the 65-year-old morning show anchor, including Willie Geist, Corey Booker, and comedian Kathy Griffin.
Should King have “gone there”?
The two sides of the argument are: Gayle King is a journalist. She will always go to the part of a story that others may not feel comfortable being brought up. Bryant’s experience of being charged (and dismissed of) rape made him who he was – perhaps more understanding of women and when no means no.
The other side is Kobe Bryant’s rape charge went through the legal system and justice was served. His charges were dismissed and are a part of his history that are just that, history.
At the time of King and Leslie’s conversation, Bryant and his daughter had not even been buried. King could have shown restraint and not discussed such a painful and, clearly, still raw part of the the basketball great’s past.
Should she have brought this up? It all depends on who you ask.