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Fallin'/Fallen

By Kathy Y. Wilson · July 23rd, 2003 · Your Negro Tour Guide
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The lure of anonymous pussy trumps mortgages, diapers, family vacations, carpools and all those other trappings of domestic bliss.

While work-a-day men bet the farm on pussy, athletes and entertainers seem especially susceptible to throwing it away over six minutes of pleasure.

That lure tempts even the most well-meaning, well-respected multi-million dollar man. Especially Kobe Bryant.

The allegations of sexual assault against Bryant, 24, by a 19-year-old woman employed at a Colorado resort aren't at all that shocking. Take it in the context of my sanctified imagination.

A young, black, beautiful, exceptionally talented, insanely wealthy professional athlete has an eye for young white girls while his young white wife -- whom he engaged while she was in high school -- is at home with his infant child.

He's miles from home in an otherwise non-descript resort town. He's horny. Why not?

Bryant and his entourage were encamped there, and reports verify there was brief contact between Bryant and his alleged victim after her shift ended the night before he was to receive minor surgery.

She left the front desk and went to his room. There's a 20-minute window unaccounted for.

"Nothing that happened June 30 was against the will of the woman who now falsely accuses me," Bryant said in a prepared statement, copping only to adultery.

Meanwhile, the media are frothing, concocting a brouhaha more concerned with Bryant's fall from squeaky clean and his potential loss of millions in endorsements than they are with examining why America keeps unjustifiably endowing our sports and music heroes with undeserved and supposed high moral codes.

They're athletes and musicians. Not God and gods.

And there it is. We're just as busted as Bryant.

Every single time this happens -- good guy athlete/singer charged with sexual improprieties -- we navel-pick the perceived character of said athlete/singer and come up with nothing.

That's because we're in denial about the realities of the pressures and the fast-forwarded adolescence of being the youngest player ever drafted into the NBA. We don't want to know what life's like behind the propped-up persona of being the youngest person to start an NBA All-Star Game. We're too busy living vicariously through and feeling good because of the Kobe Bryants we've created.

Even by America's Super-Size Standards, Bryant has it all -- more money than he can count, a Quaker Instant Family, three NBA championship rings, houses, cars and, most importantly, access. Lately even Bryant was beginning to believe his own hype, waxing poetic about role models in interviews broadcast just days before the allegations became public.

Maybe, knowing what he knew, he was trying to convince himself that what he was saying was true.

I'm crawling out on a limb. I don't think Bryant sexually assaulted the woman. I do believe, however, there was sexual contact.

I think Bryant is quietly raging against the machine and machinations propelling him as this too-good-to-be-true almost race-less sports hero who (was) safe to leave alone with your kids. He's acting out.

He's been scrutinized, idolized and held aloft since before high school, and now in his infidelity he's acting like most of his NBA colleagues he somehow managed 'til now not to emulate.

And the former American Idol hopeful and alleged victim had to do something with all that guilt and abandonment remaining from what was probably brief and unremarkable sex. So far she's not shown her face, but her friends have been all over the evening newsmagazine shows on her behalf.

Speaking of guilt and abandonment, in all this there's something to be said about America's love/hate relationship with the strapping male Negro. America treats its black men like they're stuck in a revolving door.

Chasing after or running from? Revering or reviling? Accusing or accosting?

In the name of the game of falling from grace, Kobe Bryant got a triple double he'll never forget. He cheated on his young white wife with a young white girl, he stands to lose most of what America respects and admires him for and he learned what it's like to be another young black man entangled in the criminal justice system.

Priceless.



Hear Kathy's commentaries on National Public Radio's All Things Considered.
 
 
 
 

 

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