Former Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant bade farewell to his glorious career as one of the greatest basketball players in history. As the world saw him play one last time and the stadium reverberated with “Kobe, Kobe” chants, the star basked in the glory of the achievements he scored in his 20 years of career. However, the period that brought him success and fame also at times embroiled him in a controversy, one as serious as a rape case.
In 2003, Bryant faced accusations of raping a 19-year-old concierge at a hotel in Colorado while he was there for an operation on his knee. The case went on to become one of the most high-profile rape cases of all time.
The case against the winner of the five-time NBA championships with the Lakers was dropped after 15-months and was settled behind closed doors, Think Progress reported. Bryant, however, is not the only Los Angeles Lakers player who was accused of a rape case. Nick Young and Jordan Clarkson also faced similar charges of sexual harassment.
ESPN reported that in March, two women in Hollywood accused the players of sexually harassing them.
Alexis Jones, one of the alleged victims, is the author and co-founder of “I Am That Girl.” She posted on her Instagram page that four men in a jeep pulled up beside her and her mother at a red stoplight and made obscene remarks and vulgar gestures at them. She also posted pictures from the incident on social media.
However, what’s common in both the cases is the victim-blaming. In Bryant’s case, the 19-year-old woman faced attacks from the media and fans alike for daring to charge a legend like Bryant with something as outrageous as rape. Bryant instead became the victim of a woman desperate for attention.
Pamela Mackey, Bryant’s high-profile attorney, justified the vaginal injuries of the victim by using her sexual history against her. “Could it be that [the alleged victim’s] injuries were caused by having sex with three men in three days?” she had asked.
In Young and Clarkson’s case, it was also the woman who was blamed for seeking attention.
Young, who also faced a rape allegation back in 2011, said Jones is lying. “If you want some attention take a pic of me and say anything next to it and post … The world we live in.”
The Lakers spokesperson, John Black, said that the team investigated the incident and are with the two players on this. He said that the team held conversations with Jones and found that there are different interpretations of the event that took place, TMZ Sports reported.