Kobe Bryant is to professional basketball as Thomas Jefferson was to the Enlightenment.
That’s the context that I’m operating in. I’m not claiming that they are equal in deed, merely that within their particular spheres of influence, they have been similarly impactful.
And you may want to consult your historical contexts, Jefferson himself considered slavery to be a “moral depravity” and a “hideous blot”, recognizing it as the single largest threat to the survival of the United States. (Gee, that was pretty prescient.)
But his beliefs, and higher reasoning didn’t stop him from owning slaves. As you would hold though, it was simply the fashion of the time.
As for Bryant, who I’m not really defending — I’m defending the people who have “let it go” — what about the historical context of his life? I mean, the original article that prompted my defense posits that we live in a “rape culture”. That we are all responsible for it. So Kobe Bryant, being a product of his historical context, is simply a victim of that culture that promotes rape. Right?
As for everything else, Kobe Bryant spent 18 years dedicated to the (professional) sport of basketball, and the entertainment that fans derive from it. He set records, he won championships, he was an Olympian, he inspired a new generations of players, he tutored those same players, and so much more. And yeah, one woman accused him of raping her one time. It never went to trial, and nobody really knows the truth.
So you want to contend that his positive influence on millions of people over two decades is all just completely wiped out by one debatable allegation? (Bear in mind, it should be taken into account, however, in my book, one mistake, even a depraved, heinous, one, is forgivable under the right circumstances. Kobe Bryant has no other record of such shenanigans. Now, if there was some sort of pattern, or a “Cosby-esque” parade of accusations, it’s a different story, but there isn’t.)
I wasn’t making a strawman, it was no throwaway example, I will defend my position to the best of my ability.