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Kobe Bryant: Questions That Come To Mind
by J. Grant Swank, Jr., Pastor
22 July 2003

How could you be so nimble as to have any sort of recreational sex, even forced recreational sex, with a bad knee?

Some questions come to mind as quick as a flash when reading that Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant is accused of sexual assault.

A 19-year-old hotel employee says he raped her. Kobe says he didn’t rape her; he just made the mistake of committing adultery. In other words, it was consensual sex; it was not forced sex.

With that, Kobe’s wife stands by her man.

So, the questions:

Kobe, you were there at the Vail, Colorado resort to have knee surgery the next day. How could you be so nimble as to have any sort of recreational sex, even forced recreational sex, with a bad knee? You must have been sorely in need to engage in anything like that the day before the surgeon cut into your knee.

Kobe, if you did make the "mistake" of committing adultery, how do you consider that but a notch up from raping a teen-ager? Of course, caught with a 19-year-old’s accusations, one might conclude that it is at least safest to confess to an adulterous affair rather than forcing sex upon a female. But even with that, is it conscience-safe to confess adultery if in fact you did rape her? In other words, if you raped her, why not go for broke with a clean acknowledgment rather than try to Band-Aid up with another scenario?

Kobe, given the testimonials of the girl’s friends in Vail, that is, that she is the type who would not make up a rape story, why do you then think that you have a ghost of a chance with your version of what occurred? Is it once again the hubris of a star basketball player at work in your head? If so, quit it. It won’t wash. The public is no longer that gullible as to fall for star’s read-out over unknown female’s version.

Kobe, if you went for an adulterous act, didn’t you know, with your fame and fortune, how vulnerable you were in setting yourself up for the fall? Sex is something hard to prove, that is, who did what and why. However, once you reached your fame status, didn’t your reasoning ability charge you with vigilance rather than being foolhardy? Didn’t you understand that with what’s going for you in the celebrity department, any kind of sex outside marriage is going to blow you away in the courts?

Kobe, didn’t you know that investigators would go to great lengths in scouring the data before coming down on you with an accusation of rape? You being popular, the star, the celeb, would mean that the investigative team would all the more be exceptionally careful before charging you with rape? Therefore, if it came to a rape charge, investigators would guarantee that it would be one hard wiggle for you to get out of?

Kobe, haven’t you learned from those who have fallen before you? Or did impulse play the greater urge? Did you think that a hotel room would prove more private than doing whatever you did on the basketball court? Or didn’t you even think? Did you just do what some stars do — do what you wanted to do and leave the consequences to tomorrow?

Prosecutor Mark Hurlbert, the one who issued the warrant, stated to media that "this decision came only after reviewing all the evidence, after reviewing the relevant statutes and reviewing the relevant case law and after conferring with prosecutors from around the state. Then and only then did I make my decision."

Kobe, do you think that given that that is fact, that is, that such a thorough think-through took place on the part of the prosecutor, that your impulsive, claimed adulterous act will have the same kind of weight when it comes to judgment?

Joseph Grant Swank, Jr., is the Pastor of New Hope Church in Windham, ME.  He is a a graduate of an accredited college (BA) and seminary (M Div) with graduate work at Harvard Divinity School.  Pastor Swank has been married for 41 years and he has 3 adult children.  He is the author of 5 books and over 2000 articles in various Protestant and Catholic magazines, journals and newspapers. He writes a weekly religion column for PORTLAND PRESS HERALD newspaper, Portland ME.  His columns have appeared on,,,,,,,,, among others.

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