Kobe and nuance

After a post about how the internet exploded into tributes for Kobe Bryant and Clay Christensen, Roy wrote in with a thoughtful note about his unwillingness to whitewash Kobe’s past – specifically about a time when he admitted to rape.

We exchanged notes on this as I explained it was the reason I wasn’t jumping in on all the adulation – at least not just yet. I shared that I’ve come to accept the fact that most reality is nuanced.

Thanks to his incredible work ethic, innate abilities, and a desire to make things, right, it is clear that his balance sheet is, for the most part, in the black.

He was an amazing athlete – but, he also made a bad mistake that caused a lot of harm when he was young. And, Roy shared a thoughtful post on the importance of acknowledging this nuance and contradiction.

When the media rewrites Kobe’s story to make him innocent, the media rewrites women out of the story. Kobe doesn’t need to be innocent to be loved. And his victim doesn’t need to be perfect to be believed. Kobe’s death is an opportunity for journalists to report difficult truths to readers and for moms to have tough conversations with kids.

Or, as another note nicely put it – “He deserves to be immortalized,” Dionne said, “but it’s also OK to say he did something that harmed someone else.”


Note to folks receiving this via email: I am aware that these emails are being sent twice over the past two days. I’m checking with Feedblitz and am hopeful the problem will get fixed shortly. Apologies for the trouble..