The Glass Closet

What happens when a female basketball player, backed by the same franchise as Kobe Bryant, is accused of sexual assault? Well, she sure didn’t get the same treatment that Kobe did. Bryant got backed up; coaches insisted tat he play until proven guilty. Byears was removed immediately, and went from playing basketball to working at JC Penny.

I’m not arguing that sexual predators shouldn’t face the consequences, but there should be a single consistent policy for players across the board — a policy that applies to big NBA stars and little WNBA stars alike.


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9 comments for “The Glass Closet

  1. August 22, 2005 at 12:24 am

    The answer to why is easy: Byears isn’t even remotely close to the cash cow that Bryant is — and the NBA is in no fear of failing like the WNBA is. No matter how you frame it or how either player was involved in their respective cases, this was about money and publicity.

  2. August 22, 2005 at 7:59 am

    the ultimate irony is that Byears was quickly exonerated; Bryant has not been – he ended up with a settlement agreement in the criminal trial that required an apology that doesn’t make him look innocent, but avoided a guilty or not guilty verdict.

  3. August 22, 2005 at 9:01 am

    I’m also guessing the consequences would have been different if Kobe was alleged to have sexually assaulted a 19-year-old guy in Colorado.

    This wouldn’t be the right place for my “Michael Jordan spent a year playing baseball as an informal suspension for gambling on basketball games” conspiracy theory, would it? I didn’t think so.

  4. August 22, 2005 at 8:01 pm

    touche!

  5. chris
    August 22, 2005 at 9:07 pm

    one word: homophobia

  6. August 22, 2005 at 11:05 pm

    I thought about blogging this… you summarize it perfectly.

  7. August 23, 2005 at 10:31 am

    I think it is more about money than anything else, Bryant made a lot of money for the team.

  8. kim
    August 23, 2005 at 3:39 pm

    I don’t know if this is such a good example. I mean, apparently, she assaulted a teammate. While there could definitely be an element of homophobia mixed up in there, the bottom line is that it’s a crime committed against another player.

  9. August 25, 2005 at 11:50 am

    I think it’s a lot about money and a little about homophobia. Essentially Kobe Bryant and Latash Byears found themselves in the exact same predicament (alleged sexual assault). Kobe was innocent until proven guilty according to the NBA, and Latasha was guilty until proven innocent according to the WNBA, except she’s still currently being blackballed and will probably never play in the W again.

    More at Women’s Hoops Blog, and plenty in their archives if you care to dig.

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