Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles, Gigi discussed on Casual Times

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Men basketball superstar Kobe Bryant died Sunday in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles at the age of forty one the crash killed all nine people on board including Bryant's thirteen year old daughter Chiana known as Gigi and the beloved college baseball coach John Altobelli and his wife Carrie and their thirteen year old daughter Lhasa they were all heading to a youth basketball game Bryant won five NBA championships two Olympic gold medals was crowned and all star eighteen times he played for the LA Lakers for twenty years before retiring in two thousand sixteen also known for being an ardent supporter of women's basketball Gigi Bryant reportedly hope to one day play for the university of Connecticut women's basketball team tributes continue to pour in on social media from fans athletes and other public figures musicians Alicia keys and less so remember to Kobe Bryant at the Grammys in Los Angeles Sunday night thousands gathered outside the staples overnight at the staples center to mourn his passing but some are also calling on the media and supporters not to forget the sexual assault allegations from early in his career in two thousand three and nineteen year old woman who worked at a hotel where Kobe Bryant was staying in Colorado accused him of rape Bryant denied the charge saying they had a consensual encounter authorities said the women had injuries quote not consistent with consensual sexy his body was also found on his tee shirt the case was dropped after the woman decided not to testify in a civil suit was settled out of court in a statement Brian said in a two thousand four quote after months of reviewing discovery listening to our attorney and even our testimony in person I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter on quote the sexual assault allegations resurface S. twenty thousand eighteen when Kobe Bryant's film dear basketball won an Oscar for best animated short of the two thousand eighteen Academy Awards well we're joined now by two people Dave's Iran sports editor at the nation magazine also host of the edge of sports podcast and Fatima Goss graves president CEO of the national women's law center among the co founders of the times up legal defense fund we welcome you both to democracy now Dave why don't you start off by just talking about Kobe Bryant was or no absolutely hello Amy I I think what people need to remember particularly democracy now listeners you don't quite understand the scale of grief and outpouring that's taking place right now is that Kobe Bryant first became part of the public consciousness at age seventeen as a high school senior and he died yesterday at the age of forty one that means for over half of Kobe Bryant's life he's part of the public eye and I think there's this tremendous association that people had with him and with his career when Kobe Bryant was the kind of player that people felt passionate about some people love them some people hated him some people loved and hated him for things that happened on the court some people for what happened off the court but over the course of his career he not only excelled as a player you know he was an eighteen time all star for goodness sakes but he was also very much a global athlete his name is Kobe because his father was a basketball player named Joe Bryant who traveled the world and Colby was named after Kobe Japan where Kobe played Kobe grew up in Italy he spoke fluent Italian he spoke Spanish there's a basketball player named Luke a docket sheet and Kobe would speak to him and slid many in it's Kobe had this global appeal which has led to this outpouring of grief that we see today and for a lot of folks as you know it people just thought the second act of Kobe's life was just getting started at age forty one and I think when you factor in the death of Gigi is well who had aspirations to be a basketball player in her own right it's almost like the future that people softer Kobe was just a race in the blink of an eye and I think that's what people are suffering with right now and can you talk more about his daughter Gigi who is also be logged and really got him into women's basketball he said he wasn't even watching it after he finished in two thousand sixteen after he retired well he wasn't watching any basketball after he finished he wanted to be the sort of athlete who didn't hang around the game but instead moved on to other challenges and the and other other jobs he wanted to be a big creative producer out in Hollywood and a mogul really and a lot of players were looking to Kobe to to blaze that path as a mobile but then his daughter became a basketball obsessive not unlike her dad the obsessive in the best possible sense just an absolute lover of the game and that brought Kobe back into the game particularly into the sphere of women's basketball he became a a girls basketball coach he became someone who just this past last month made news where he talked about that there are women who should be playing in the NBA right now and that he was going to be someone who who took it upon himself to champion the W. NBA going forward and Gigi was was part of those dreams there's this amazing clip that's going around of Kobe on a talk show and about someone coming up the Kobe in Gigi and saying to him would be amazing if you had a son because your son could carry on your legacy and Gigi actually stepping in interrupting the conversation and saying no now I got this and of course Gigi died in that helicopter crash as well can you talk now about what happened in two thousand three Dave siren what happened in Colorado well be Frank with you first and foremost it's difficult to discuss because you want to give people space to mourn right now and I I feel like there is going to be time to discuss all of this but I also understand that this is part of Kobe's legacy and it does need to be discussed in two thousand and three Kobe was charged with sexual assault in two thousand five of the charges were dropped when his accuser did not testify and Kobe's lawyers absolutely engage in a scorched earth campaign against his accuser that was so intense they actually change the rape shield laws in Colorado because they were so vicious towards her now part of the settlement that that the part of the deal that you Kobe in terms of the civil suit of of writing a very large check to make the the charges go away involved Kobe writing out an apology that was read in court where Kobe acknowledge that he did not think that his accuser had offered consent in their encounter and I have to tell you like I'm speaking with back then in two thousand five that hadn't really been seen before I mean and now I think it probably doesn't I don't know how we would look at it in two thousand twenty in our area today but in two thousand five offering that statement where he spoke about the issue of consent I know that for a lot of organizations that work in restorative justice circles the views that statement as a way to speak about the importance of understanding consent in the importance of fighting sexual assault and rape culture so I'd like to bring in fact Amanda Grasse Goss graves here president CEO of the national women's law center going back to that two thousand three moment in Colorado where the woman authority said head injuries not consistent with consensual sex her blood found on Kobe Bryant's T. shirt and then that statement in the settlement that he made in two thousand four after months of reviewing discovery listening to our attorney and even your testimony in person I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter on if you can share your thoughts today on on Kobe Bryant's legacy well I should begin by eight offering my condolences to his family to his friends I was in college and now way when he first came to the Lakers and it all seems too soon and at the same time we have to think about how it is that we talk about legacies it's it's often too easy to a race the bad parts of legacy but in this moment it's especially important that we contextualizing everything about his legacy on and off the court including the sexual violence where the page was probably turn too soon I hope fifteen years later when we think about this and sense we can think about it a little bit differently we can think about how to survivors are feeling in this moment as well Davis iron your final box stuff so so so beautifully and so eloquently I have little to add except that I think it's very important that we keep in mind today and hold to our hearts the bride's family the out the belly family survivors and everybody who is processing this grief in in their own way it's important that we not police people's grief it's important instead that we listen to what everybody has to say because this is something that's affecting people in a way that's far broader than basketball I want to thank you both for being with us and Fatima Goss graves you're going to be staying with us as we talk about what's happened in this last week with the first sitting president in history to attend an address an anti choice March the major so called March for life in Washington Dave siren thanks for being with us sports editor for the nation magazine Fatima Goss graves president of the national women's law center stay with okay sounds good see now this is democracy now democracy.

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