The death of basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, seemed to have touched the lives of millions across the world. Bryant died alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and 7 others. His legacy inspired many children to be like him when they grew up. His untimely death became the topic of discussion when Gayle King, a broadcast journalist for CBS News, questioned WNBA legend, Lisa Leslie, one of Byrant’s best friends, about a rape charge filed in 2003 that was eventually dropped and was settled in civil court in 2005.
King began receiving negative backlash when she asked Leslie, “It’s been said that his legacy is complicated because of a sexual assault charge which was dismissed in 2003, 2004…Is it complicated for you as a woman, as a WNBA player?” Many viewed this as an opportunity to undermine Bryant’s legacy. In response, Leslie stated, “It’s not complicated for me at all…I have 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.” King then began to say that even though Leslie was one of his great friends she wouldn’t be able to see it.
That question had many people fuming and King has received negative backlash from the public, including celebrities like rapper Snoop Dogg and singer Ari Lennox. Actor and Comedian, Bill Cosby, who is currently incarcerated for sexually assaulting women, added his two sense and praised Snoop Dogg for his particularly interesting choice of words. On a video that Snoop Dogg posted on his Instagram he began to express his anger for King’s interview and believed that what she did was terrible. He voiced his concerns by saying, “We expect more from you Gayle. Don’t you hang out with Oprah (Winfrey)? Why are you attacking us? We your people.” Lennox also expressed that both Winfrey and King use their platforms to tarnish the legacies of black men and don’t care about African Americans as a whole.
Since the fallout occurred King has since apologized and has said that her words were taken out of context. However, that hasn’t stopped people from sending her death threats resulting in her amping up her security team. Winfrey, who is best friends with King, has said in a recent interview that, “She is not doing well because she now has death threats and has to now travel with security. She’s feeling very much attacked.” Lennox and Snoop Dogg also have apologized for their remarks towards King.
According to The Associated Press, CBS News President, Susan Zirinsky, stated that, “We fully support Gayle King and her integrity as a journalist…We find the threats against her or any journalist doing their job reprehensible.”