Connect with us

Sports

Kobe Bryant’s death prompts battle over focus on star’s rape charge

Published

 on

For author and attorney Mark Shaw, there’s one memory of Kobe Bryant seared into his brain — that of a young basketball star seated in a Colorado courtroom with what he perceived as a flippant attitude to the charge of sexual assault against him.

“Here was Kobe with an arrogant look on his face,” said Shaw, who covered the case for ESPN in 2004.

“It bothered me and it bothered all of the other reporters. He wasn’t taking this seriously at all. I don’t know if he was in denial or whatever, but he just didn’t take it seriously.”

Shaw, who is convinced of Bryant’s guilt, said he is particularly bothered by the coverage of Bryant’s death, that not enough emphasis has been placed on this part of the athlete’s life.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

The tragic death of Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash Sunday, has sparked an outpouring of grief and tributes for the basketball great who helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA titles during his 20-year career. But others have been quick to note that Bryant’s legacy is also marked by an allegation of sexual assault. And that, in turn, has sparked a backlash from some fans angered that the allegations were revisited so soon after his death.

“When someone passes away, certainly you want to highlight what they did well in life. And apparently he did kind of turn his life around from that point and became a great father, and the things that he’s done and all of that, that’s great,” said Shaw.

But you just need to tell both sides of the story. A lot of times people just don’t want to really know the truth. They would rather discard that and only look at the positives that were involved with somebody’s life.”

 

Bryant at the Eagle County Justice Center in 2004 for pretrial motions in connection with the alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman. (Ed Andrieski/The Associated Press)

 

Indeed, a Washington Post reporter faced considerable social media backlash and death threats after she tweeted a link to an old article about the sexual assault allegation against Bryant shortly after he was killed. (Felicia Sonmez was suspended by the paper, which then seemed to back off on Tuesday.)

Jill Filipovic, lawyer and author of The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness, said it’s possible to “grieve a life lost and also address that life honestly.”

“To everyone yelling NOT NOW: Then when? When are we supposed to grapple with, and tell the whole truth about, the lives of people many admire?” she tweeted Sunday.

 

 

In a blog posted titled Kobe Bryant and Complicated Legacies, Filipovic wrote that all of his success in sports is “key to Kobe’s story” but also “is not the whole story.”

“Out of some mislaid definition of ‘respect,’ we are so excellent at sidelining the inconvenient parts, at least when the inconvenient parts are women we’ve made invisible and the one inconvenienced is a man we would prefer to keep admiring, without complication,” she wrote.

 

Bryant with his daughter Gianna at the 2019 WNBA All-Star Game. Gianna was also killed in the helicopter crash Sunday. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

 

In 2003, Bryant was charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort. He had said the two had consensual sex. Prosecutors later dropped the felony sexual assault charge at the request of the accuser, in exchange for a public apology. Bryant also settled a civil suit against him by the accuser for an undisclosed amount of money.

While some endorsements dried up, including McDonald’s, other major companies like Nike stuck by Bryant. He was largely able to put the allegations behind him, going on to have one of the most successful careers in the NBA, eventually retiring in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in the league’s history.

However, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, those allegations resurfaced. In March 2018, after he won an Oscar for the short animated film Dear Basketball, based on a poem he wrote, some criticized the Academy for its selection. And in Oct. 2018, he was ousted from the jury of an animated film festival after an online petition was circulated demanding he be dropped.

Shaw said in recounting Bryant’s legacy, it’s fine to talk about how Bryant seemed to change his ways following the alleged attack.

I think you can do it in a way where you say despite him being charged with sexual assault … Kobe Bryant had become a changed man. I think you can put a positive spin on this — but it does need to include this incident that happened back then.”

Globe and Mail investigative reporter Robyn Doolittle, whose recent book Had it Coming: What’s Fair in the Age of #MeToo? includes a chapter about the Bryant case, said it’s important to remember someone like Bryant as a whole person.

“He can be a basketball legend, and it means so much to so many people, and he can also be an amazing father, by all accounts. He can also be someone who faced very credible sexual assault or rape allegations,” she said.

“I don’t necessarily think that people should hate Kobe Bryant. My book is all about ‘It’s not black or white. The hot take isn’t necessarily the most productive one.'”

His death, the outpouring of grief, and what some might say is an effort by fans to ignore the most controversial chapter of his life is illustrative of the intense relationship many have with their celebrity idols, said Bradley Bond, a University of San Diego associate professor in communication studies.

Bond studies the psychological concept known as parasocial relationship: the way people develop very strong social and emotional ties to fictional characters and celebrities.

The nature of entertainment media is to continually disclose information about these people, and the public feels like they get to know them over the course of time, he said.

“So it makes sense that when one of those perceived relationships dissolves that we experience grief in a similar way.”

 

Eric Mascarenhas comforts his son Nicolas at a memorial for Bryant near the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/The Associated Press)

 

And when a celebrity does something that conflicts with one’s own moral code, it either negatively influences the relationship or fans find a way to close that cognitive dissonance with some type of excuse, Bond said.

I think the easiest case with something like Kobe’s complicated background is to simply not believe the accuser.”

As well, fans may also be able to separate an actor or athlete’s personal life with their performance.

“You can still admire that primary attribute even if secondary attributes might conflict with what you see as an admirable person. I think you can separate Kobe the athlete from Kobe the individual.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Player grades: McD and Drai massive again as Edmonton Oilers beat Montreal Canadiens

Published

 on

The Edmonton Oilers got off to a two-goal lead thanks to a three goal outburst by its killer power play, but then the Oilers did what they’ve done all year, let up defensively and allow goals against.

But a thrilling goal by Darnell Nurse put Edmonton up one goal with four seconds left in the second, the key moment of the game.

Edmonton hung on in the third for a 5-3 win, with Connor McDavid scoring the insurance goal to cap off a two goal, two assist. night.

In total, Edmonton had 13 Grade A shots, with nine 5-alarmers, Montreal ten Grade A shots, four 5-alarmers, which works out to 4.00 expected goals for the Oil, 2.83 for Montreal.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

Connor McDavid, 9. Scored two goals and two assists. Took a near phantom holding penalty in the first. He set up Drai down low on RNH’s second period power play goal. Buzzed around on Edmonton’s 5-on-3 power play before setting up Draisaitl on the glorious kind of pass-and-shoot sequence that will be forever burned into the minds of Edmonton Oilers fans. He shot when the Montreal goalie Jake Allen was expecting pass, firing in Edmonton’s third goal. Took it to Warp Ten again on his breakway goal, with thrilling finish on Oil’s insurance goal.

Leon Draisaitl, 9. One goal and three assists. Brilliant execution on the attack. Great pass to send in Hyman ten seconds into the game. He snapped a horizontal pass through the top of the crease to set up RNH for Edmonton’s power play goal early in the second. Fired home on the 5-on-3, delivering once against with his dread Executioner’s Shot. He made a few smart plays quickly giving over the puck to the Habs after a penalty call to get more time on the 5-on-3 situations. He made a typically fine pass to set up Nurse for Edmonton’s fourth goal. He won a board battle to again send off Hyman for a Grade A shot early in the third.

Zach Hyman, 7. Another solid and eventful outing. Got an early break in, but failed to drain it, then gave up the puck in the defensive slot leading to a dangerous Habs opportunity. He held his slot position and got off a 5-alarm blast early in the second on the power play. He took a nasty crosscheck to the head early in the second, drawing a five-minute penalty and game misconduct for Joel Edmundson. A great hustle play late in the second to win the puck behind the Montreal net, firing up the Virtuous Cycle leading to Edmonton’s fourth goal.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 7. He slammed home a table top hockey goal early in the second off a Drai feed. Heck of a harpoon, that shot. Sent in Janmark with a fine pass early in the third. Was otherwise quiet on the attack.

Jesse Puljujarvi, 7. Maybe his most physical game of his career, with JP winning many battles. He led the team with eight hits.

Mattias Janmark, 6. He charged out fast and furious on Edmonton’s first PK, and allowed a cross-seam pass, allowing Caufiled’s power play shot off the crossbar in the first. Charged in early in the third on a partial breakaway for a 5-alarm shot.

Derek Ryan, 5. He got beat to the outside by Kaiden Guhle for a Grade A shot early in the game. He lost the PK face off, then failed to stop the pass across on a Montreal’s first period power play blast off the post. He made a key defensive play, kicking the puck out of the slot with just under two minutes left, earning a hug from Stuart Skinner. That one play pulled his mark up to a passing grade.

Klim Kostin, 5. He came out battling hard and set up Nurse charging through the slot early in the second.

Devin Shore, 5. Flashed down the wing late in the second with Malone almost putting in the rebound. He lost the puck and a battle early in the third but Joel Armia hit the crossbar.

Dylan Holloway, 5. He made a solid check on Mike Matheson to win a battle late in the third.

Brad Malone, 5.  A lost battle and a turnover early in the caused the Oilers some defensive grief. He almost jammed home Shore’s rebound shot late in the second.

Tyler Benson, 5. Some decent hustle plays.

Darnell Nurse, 7. He turned the wrong way, allowing time and space for an outside shot, kicking off the Sequence of Pain on Dadonov’s goal. Next, he squandered his own good work on the PK, shooting the puck over the glass to take a penalty. Redeemed himself charging up the ice to snipe in a slot shot with four seconds left in the second. He played a more reasonable 22:31.

Cody Ceci, 6. He lost focus for a second, allowing Dadonov to sneak by him for Montreal’s second goal, but was otherwise solid.

Brett Kulak, 7. Quiet game but he did his job well, keeping a clean sheet at even strength, not one major mistake on a Grade A shot against.

Tyson Barrie, 6. He got beat by Dach down the middle on a break-in shot late in the second. But kept a clean sheet at even strength.

Evan Bouchard, 6. He strangely abandoned his defensive post in the second allowing a hard Montreal shot and potential goal off the rebound. But was otherwise solid.

Philip Broberg, 7. Made a few slick defensive stops in the third, blocking a sure goal late in the game with a shot block in the crease. He’s slowly picking up his play, getting better each game. He stepped up in the n-zone early on to win the puck and send McD in on a rush, a solid and confident play.

Stuart Skinner, 5. Not his best night, letting out big rebounds all game. He got beat by a Grade B scoring chance shot on Montreal’s first goal, not good. He gave up a rancid rebound allowing Dadonov to score out of a nothing situation. He looked back in his net getting beat by Arber Xhekaj for Montreal’s third goal. But stopped Dach’s break in goal late in the second and threw a shut-out in the third period when it counted.

Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

France advance to World Cup quarterfinals with record-breaking night

Published

 on

France’s Olivier Giroud, left, celebrates with France’s Kylian Mbappe, after scoring the opening goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Poland, at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)

 

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — It all seems so straightforward — laughable, perhaps — for Kylian Mbappé when it comes to the World Cup.

The France forward, who scored four goals when he led his country to the title four years ago as a 19-year-old phenom, put on yet another demonstration of how devastating he can be on the soccer field.

After it was over, Mbappé almost seemed to be chuckling as Robert Lewandowski came over to congratulate him.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

Mbappé scored two goals Sunday and set up another for Olivier Giroud to give France a 3-1 victory over Poland and move the 2018 champions within three wins of successfully defending their title. He already has a tournament-best five goals in Qatar as Les Bleus have reached the quarterfinals for the third straight World Cup.

“The only objective for me is to win the World Cup,” Mbappé said. “The only thing I dream is this. I came here to win this World Cup. I didn’t come here to win the Golden Ball or Golden Boot. If I win it of course I’m going to be happy but that’s not why I’m here. I’m here to win and I’m here to help the French national team.”

Lewandowski, a two-time FIFA player of the year, scored from the penalty spot in second-half stoppage time for Poland.

France will play England for a spot in the semifinals. The English team beat Senegal 3-0.

Mbappé scored his first goal in the 74th minute when he was left unmarked to blast in a long-range shot following a counterattack. He added another in stoppage time when Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny could only get a weak glove on another powerful shot from the man in the No. 10 shirt.

“He can change a match in just a moment and he’s always playing with such joy and we all want to share those smiles with him,” France coach Didier Deschamps said. “France needed a great Kylian Mbappé tonight and they got one.”

Having also provided two assists, Mbappé has easily been the most productive player in Qatar.

After his latest exploits, Mbappé explained why he hadn’t addressed the media in Qatar before Sunday.

“I needed to focus on the tournament and my soccer,” he said through a translator, adding that he had volunteered to pay a French federation fine for his silence. “When I want to concentrate on something that’s the way I function. And that’s why I didn’t want to come speak to you before now.

“I’ve been preparing for this tournament throughout the season, physically and mentally,” he added. “I wanted to be ready for this tournament and I am.”

Mbappé celebrated his second goal by waving his arms for the crowd to cheer louder. Then he hoisted himself up onto the crossbar shortly after the final whistle in front of France’s celebrating fans.

Mbappé already has nine career World Cup goals and if he stays healthy, he could probably play in another three editions of soccer’s biggest event — meaning he might approach the tournament’s career scoring record held by Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored 16 goals over four World Cups.

“He hurt us today but I am cheering for him because he is a real star,” Poland coach Czesław Michniewicz said through a translator. “I’m talking about (Lionel) Messi, (Cristiano) Ronaldo, Lewandowski. If someone is going to take over, I think Mbappé will be the player to be the best one (for) many years.”

No country has repeated as World Cup champions in six decades — since Brazil achieved the feat by claiming consecutive trophies in 1958 and 1962. Italy is the only other nation to have won two straight, in 1934 and 1938.

While Lewandowski is a prolific scorer himself, he’s never come close to winning a major title with a Poland team that struggles to get him the ball.

Mbappé, by contrast, is supported by a large array of talented players — even though half a dozen top France players are out injured.

The French team took the lead when Mbappé threaded a pass to Giroud and the AC Milan striker quickly slotted the ball into the far corner. It was Giroud’s 52nd career international goal — breaking a tie with Thierry Henry on France’s all-time scoring list.

After Mbappé leaped into Giroud’s arms to celebrate, pumping his fists, Giroud held up seven fingers to the cameras — five on one hand and two on the other for “52.”

It’s all the more sweet for Giroud because he wasn’t even supposed to be a starter on this year’s squad until Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema was ruled out because of injury. Giroud also scored two goals in France’s opening 4-1 win over Australia.

On a record-setting night for France, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris matched the national team mark of 142 appearances held by Lilian Thuram.

With two European teams playing, there weren’t all that many supporters of either country inside Al Thumama Stadium except for small pockets of France fans beating drums behind one goal and red-and-white clad spectators chanting “Polska” behind the opposite goal. There were also plenty of empty seats.

JEWELRY BREAK

Play was paused briefly in the first half when France defender Jules Kounde was told by a match official to remove two gold chains he was wearing.

France coach Didier Deschamps was asked if Kounde kept the chains on because they displayed a rainbow symbol.

“I don’t know what was on his necklace,” Deschamps said. “Jules is superstitious and he usually wears that necklace even in training.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Ice Chips Brock Boeser Vancouver Canucks healthy scratch

Published

 on

Keep updated on all the injury news and roster updates from around the NHL with daily Ice Chips.


Vancouver Canucks

Forward Brock Boeser will be a healthy scratch Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes, according to TSN’s Farhan Lalji. Boeser has spent much of the past three games on the third line.

“Sometimes tough love is tough love. I know he’s capable of being much better,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau. “We want to win and we need him over the long haul to win. We need to be better. It could have been one of a few guys.”

Boeser has three goals and 11 assists in 18 games this season. He will be replaced by Jake Studnicka in the lineup.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

Canucks lines at practice:

Höglander-Horvat-Miller
Mikheyev-Pettersson-Kuzmenko
Joshua-Dries-Garland
Lazar-Åman-Studnicka

OEL-Bear
Hughes-Schenn
Stillman-Myers

Extras: Boeser, Dermott, Burroughs

Spencer Martin will start.


Montreal Canadiens

Jake Allen will get the start in net against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, while forward Brendan Gallagher will miss his second straight game due to a lower-body injury, Montreal Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis confirmed.

Allen, 32, has gone 7-8-0 in 15 starts and has a 3.40 goals-against average and .898 save percentage so far this season.

Gallagher is suffering from a lower-body injury and will miss his second game in a row. The 30-year-old has three goals and five assists in 22 games in 2022-23.


Edmonton Oilers

Stuart Skinner will make his 12 start of the season for the Edmonton Oilers against the Canadiens.

Skinner, 24, has a record of 6-5 along with a 2.91 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.

Projected lineup as per Tony Brar:

Draisaitl-McDavid-Hyman
Janmark-RNH-Puljujarvi
Holloway-Malone-Benson

Nurse-Ceci
Kulak-Barrie
Broberg-Bouchard

Skinner


Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said that centre Anthony Cirelli will make his season debut against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Cirelli had 17 goals and 26 assists in 76 games last season.

Lines at morning skate ahead of matchup with Leafs, as per TSN’s Mark Masters:

Hagel – Point – Kucherov
Stamkos – Paul – Killorn
Namestnikov – Cirelli – Colton
Maroon – Bellemare – Perry

Hedman – Sergachev
Cole – Cernak
Bogosian – Perbix
Foote

Vasilevskiy starts


Calgary Flames

Projected lineup vs. Washington Capitals:

Vladar starts

Huberdeau-Lindholm-Toffoli
Dube-Kadri-Mangiapane
Ruzicka-Backlund-Coleman
Lucic-Rooney-Lewis

Hanifin-Andersson
Weegar-Tanev
Zadorov-Stone


Toronto Maple Leafs

Projected lineup vs. Lightning on Saturday, as per TSN’s Mark Masters:

Bunting – Matthews – Nylander
Robertson – Tavares – Marner
Kerfoot – Kampf – Engvall
Aston-Reese – Holmberg – Simmonds

Giordano – Holl
Sandin – Liljegren
Mete – Hollowell

Murray starts

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending