3 Lessons to Learn from Gayle King's Kobe Bryant Backlash: Old School Manners in the Digital Age!

Theo Wargo/Getty Images, Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

If you don’t know by now, seasoned journalist Gayle King asked WNBA legend Lisa Leslie a series of uncomfortable questions about Kobe Bryant’s alleged sexual misconduct. Might I add, it is from 2002-2003 which he was never charged, and the witness never testified. The backlash that Ms. King received these last few days has been unsurmountable. The black cookout community even dragged her best friend Oprah into and canceled their invites. My man Snoop Dog went in on Gayle. I don’t agree with his rant and his name-calling, but I understand his frustration. I have already voiced my opinion on several posts online, so I will not divulge it here. The goal of this blog is to talk about social responsibility and manners that we have to seem to have forgotten about in this Digital Age.

Learn More about the Controversy from this AJC article

During this time of grief, be respectful to all parties involved.

There comes a time when you have to choose between getting the ratings and the likes, versus respecting someone in their time of need. Gayle’s line of questioning in the words of my grandma, “Wrong Time; Wrong Place” You would think Ms. King would know this at her age, but I digress.

Be A Person of Integrity.

There are times when you will have to go against the status quo and stand up for what is right. As my grandma taught me, “Right is Right, and Wrong is Wrong!” There was ample time for any news outlet to bring up Kobe’s Past while he was still alive and could have defended himself. Guess what, it wasn’t important enough for them to ask then, so why ask now? Ms. Gayle had a choice in that newsroom to make, and she made hers.

Practice Wisdom.

As you see, I keep bringing up my grandmother. My grandmother was 92 years old when she died. This year, she would have been 100 years old had she lived. One thing she taught me was to learn how to be wise. “Every thought you are thinking is not meant to be said out loud, Jackie!” She would tell me this quite often. You know why? You can’t take words back! Once it has been said, you can’t go and unsay it. These words of wisdom never rang truer in this Digital Age. Just like Kobe has a blemish on his image, Ms. Gayle just created one for herself. The clip of her interview will play on forever.

I know in a few days this news cycle will be over, and our minds will be captivated by something else but there are still lessons to be learned. I love being in the Digital Age and having information at my fingertips. But, I am also well aware of the slippery slope the comes with the Digital Age. We must still practice some decorum and have some human decency for our neighbors. I still believe in the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you!”

I wonder what would have happened if Ms. Gayle King would have paused for a minute to think about how would she feel if she was in Vanessa’s Bryant shoes. Would she want someone that she greatly respected, tarnishing all the good works her loved one has done?

When creating content, we still have social responsibility. We have a responsibility to be put out great content and one that adds value to the world. We get to choose the type of mark we leave on this place. Whether it is positive or negative, it is up to you. I choose to keep it positive.

Jacqueline Harris is the writer, author, blogger known as Jay L Harris. She's earned a degree in History from Valdosta State University & an MBA from Strayer University. Her tagline, "Church Girl With a Dirty Mind", sums up her sense of humor & her spiritual beliefs from her Southern upbringing. Her mission is to help Xennial women from around the world to tap back into their imagination in order to create a life full of joy & freedom.

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Douglasville, GA 30135


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