There's not a lot I can really add to the glowing tributes already written and said about Kobe Bryant following his sudden and tragic death on Monday. I find it a little difficult to know just how to react and feel here because, like you, I didn't know him nor anyone else on board that chopper.
I have never met, corresponded with, talked to or even see the man play in person yet somehow, like most, I still feel sad.
Sad for all those who've lost their loved ones, for the suddenness of it all, for the shock and sorrow and emptiness any accident leaves in its immediate wake.
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Of course amongst the outpouring of all this grief the elephant in the room was and will always be the "incident" in Colorado where he was accused of rape, the case eventually dismissed when the complainant refused to testify.
The civil case, then settled out of court to the satisfaction of all parties, details forever enshrined in a confidentiality agreement of course. In other words he paid whatever sum of money that for her was sufficient for it all to conveniently go away.
Whatever did go on in that hotel room, none of us know or ever will. And not wanting to regurgitate all this I've been more impressed with the (mostly) mature way it has all been subsequently handled.
It seems that since that court case in Colorado he had become a quite different person. By that I mean a better person. The person who people now believe they are grieving for.
And if that's truly the case then isn't that also an outcome to be, for want of a better term, applauded? Isn't that what our world is based on, rehabilitating people, accepting their actions (within reason dependent on the extreme or otherwise nature of the offending) and doing whatever it takes to ensure said person re-emerges into society as a much better version of their previous self never to ever repeat those same actions?
I'm glad this was brought up because it had to be, it needed to be. But I'm even more glad that's it's also not the narrative nor what defines Kobe Bryant in death.
However if you want it to be then that's entirely your prerogative. Just remember though that there's a significant majority, whose opinions are equally as valid, who neither don't nor ever won't.