Corona del Mar
I praise the article "Kobe made more than a mistake," in which
Steve Smith took a bold look at the morality of Kobe Bryant's hotel
The image of the press conference -- Bryant gripping his wife's
hand as he plead innocence of sexual assault while asking us to
excuse his infidelity -- left me with a sour feeling. I'm a Lakers
fan and I admired and respected Bryant. Now what? Is his wife's
forgiveness all I am expected to need before I excuse him? Does
Bryant expect us all to shrug our shoulders and accept, as he does,
that immorality is inevitable, that humans will be humans, men will
be men, and basketball players will be basketball players? On the
other hand, why shouldn't he ask that of us? America virtually
ignored how Magic Johnson got HIV and welcomed him right back into
the mainstream, as a victim and a hero. We excuse the chronically
misbehaving Dennis Rodman time and again for his misbehavior.
The message we give kids who look up to these men is that there
are no apparent consequences for breaking laws, whether moral or
civil. Yes, eventually Bryant should be forgiven. But first he should
perform some sort of public penance. Something that pinches more than
potentially losing a multimillion-dollar endorsement contract; he
already has more millions than a man can spend in a lifetime --
unless $4-million apologies are on the budget.
Maybe Bryant would have gained some sympathy if he'd donated $4
million to women's causes, too.
Corona del Mar
Lately, Steve Smith has taken on the task of being the campus
moralist. When Smith was talking about education, water quality and
bureaucratic bungling -- we were right there with him. Recently, he
has been airing a series of guilt-ridden, self-indulgent articles.
Those regarding Newport Beach City Councilman Dick Nichols and Kobe
Bryant have stirred our concern that Smith is no longer in the
"reporting the facts" business.
His latest issue: Shame on Kobe!
First of all, Bryant is a handsome, black 24-year-old, an
international superstar with more popularity, skill and money than