*Writer Allison McGenva over at Essence has written an essay “We Don’t Need to Destroy Gayle King to Preserve Kobe Bryant’s Legacy” that’s getting a lot of attention for obvious reasons. Here’s a taste of it below.
In the emotional days following the death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash, Black people, in our shock and sorrow, seemed to be united. Through shares and retweets, in conversations, both private and public, Bryant’s larger-than-life influence on our collective psyche was as palpable as the hush caused by his death. Black women, confronted with the raw vulnerability of Black men and boys facing the loss of their hero—and their own mortality—gave them a safe space to weep and mourn. This is radical, Black love, we thought. This is us at our best.
Then, Gayle King, a Black woman in the United States of America, dared to ask a question. And the jig was up.
On Thursday, CBS posted a clip of King’s interview with WNBA star Lisa Leslie, a longtime friend of Bryant. In the clip, taken from a longer interview about Bryant’s legacy, King pressed Leslie on whether the 2003 rape accusations, later dropped in criminal court and settled in a civil case, tainted the way that Bryant would be remembered. For Leslie, it was clearly a painful and difficult moment as she discussed her late friend just days after his passing. For King, it would soon become a disaster.
I’m uninterested in debating whether, as a journalist, King was wrong for her line of questioning. Not just because I do not believe in telling another Black woman, and a veteran of her industry at that, how to do her job, but also because it stands completely beside the point.
If you’re a Black woman reading this, you no doubt know the immeasurable weight of misogynoir. We’re always in danger of being crushed beneath the precarious burden of racism and sexism.
Interesting, isn’t it? Well, you can get the rest of it at Essence.
Meanwhile, on our Facebook page, McGenva’s thoughts about/defense of Gayle King seems to be losing in the court of public opinion. Here are some of the responses …
Rhonda Lovinglife Stop defending her and let her own her sh*t and deal with the consequences. She’s been a journalist working in corporate America for years and she knows how the game is played. So, if she decides to ask explosive questions that led to a nasty boom ? then don’t whine when the sh*t hits the fan.
LaMarr Blackmon Gayle King is a ratings scavenger who is foul and out of bounds??
Dorsey Nelson Good for you if you’re finished with the Gayle debate. We will finish when we get ready. You don’t control when the debate’s over, you didn’t even start the debate. This is not only for Gayle but all journalists. Don’t try to flip the script, Gayle is not the victim, Kobe, his wife and children are for victims. By the way if you write or ask a question that disrespectful to one of our heroes, we will drag you too. Have some respect for the family, hell with Gayle. Enough said!!