Kobe Bryant honored by fans, NBA but 2003 rape case will leave black mark in Black Mamba’s legacy

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March 27, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) reacts after scoring a three point basket against Washington Wizards during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kobe Bryant will be playing his final game in the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Wednesday leaving a career filled with impressive achievements on the basketball court. However, off it the “Black Mamba” will also be remembered for a 2003 rape case that almost destroyed his NBA career.

While most fans excited for the Los Angeles Lakers legend’s last game to send him to a warm send off to retirement, others are not too happy and found time to relive the 2003 rape case involving Bryant.

“But as fun as it is to reflect on his career and the mark he left on the sport, it’s also important to remember what happened off the court,” Lindsay Gibss of stated.

“Though the criminal charges were ultimately dropped after 15 months and the civil case was settled behind closed doors, the Kobe Bryant rape case left behind a legacy of victim blaming, media sensationalism, and image repair that still influences society — and other high-profile rape cases — to this day.”

“The Kobe Bryant rape case has, in the annals of popular culture, been reduced to something of a punchline due to the aftermath—namely, Bryant’s $4 million, 8-carat purple diamond apology ring that he gifted to his wife, Vanessa. But what exactly transpired on the night of June 30, 2003, at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, in Colorado, may always be a mystery,” Marlow Stern from the Daily Beast added.

“Despite being charged with sexual assault and false imprisonment—facing life in prison—and tearfully confessing to committing adultery with his 19-year-old accuser, Bryant’s case never made it to trial.”

The allegations were that Bryant raped the teenager in his hotel room, which was eventually denied by Bryant, who claimed that they had sex but it was consensual. The case was eventually dropped after the woman refused to testify on the court. There was a separate civil suit filed against Bryant and this was settled out of the court. Bryant apologized to the woman but did not admit he was guilty of the rape allegations.

Kobe Bryant will be playing his last game in the NBA against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday but some people won’t forget that the Lakers star once allegedly raped a teenager. The case was dismissed but it’s the biggest black mark in the Black Mamba’s legacy.

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