Kobe Bryant is widely remembered for his accomplishments on the hardwood of the basketball court, but some people may have forgotten when he was accused of laying some unwanted hardwood in a woman in Colorado back in 2003. This quote from the Black Mamba himself makes him seem pretty guilty:
“Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did.”
The above quote was delivered by Kobe’s attorney, Pamela Mackey, as a part of an apology where Mr. Bryant does seem to express remorse over the whole ordeal. But if one person believes it was consensual and the other does not, that is rape; even if you do feel bad about it after the fact.
Now, Kobe was never charged with rape. After the 20 month ordeal following the incident, the woman did not wish to pursue criminal charges (against the prosecutor’s wishes), and the two settled out of court. The proceedings were marred with the idea that this woman’s sexual history could indicate her level of consent, as if a woman willingly has sex with with someone, she could not have been raped by another. This is slut shaming at its finest and should have had no bearing on the incident between the two. Her identity was exposed to the public through weak Colorado rape shield laws; news and media outlets across the globe then took turns taking shots at her character and dragging her name through the mud. The Colorado Supreme Court also ruled they would have allowed her sexual history be presented to a jury in the proceedings of the case. No wonder she may have preferred to settle this matter discreetly.
So, as the Kobe Bryant retirement tour rolls on and he is heaped with praise and applause in each arena he steps foot in, just remember, basketball shots weren’t the only thing he was forcing back in 2003.