On the heels of Snoop’s mama making him apologize to Gayle King for trash-talking her, calling her names, issuing a veiled threat against her and thereby opening her up to harassment from his legion of loyal fans, the veteran journalist says she accepts his apology and apologized herself for any pain she may have caused the rapper over the loss of his friend.
In a statement to the Associated Press, King said, “I accept the apology and understand the raw emotions caused by this tragic loss,” adding that she never intended to add to the pain that he was feeling.
“As a journalist, it is sometimes challenging to balance doing my job with the emotions and feelings during difficult times,” she said. “I don’t always get it perfect but I’m constantly striving to do it with compassion and integrity.”
King came on Snoop’s radar after CBS released a short clip from her interview with Lisa Leslie, where she asked the WNBA veteran and basketball star questions about her friendship with Kobe Bryant—specifically whether or not she believed the 2003 sexual assault allegation against the recently deceased basketball legend was a part of his legacy.
Snoop took umbrage at the question and recorded a video on Instagram during which he berated King, called her a “funky dog-head bitch,” and told her to not disrespect “the family” “before we come get you.”
The video led to two opposing trending topics and hashtags on Twitter—#IStandWithGayle, under which people defended the journalist against the attacks of Snoop and others, and #IStandWithSnoop, under which many sided with the Long Beach rapper in insulting King.
After Snoop’s mother gathered him up, he got on Instagram to make another video—this time apologizing to King, because in his words, “two wrongs don’t make a right.”
I won’t get into how the “two wrongs don’t make a right” in some ways negates everything else he says in his apology, but as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar put it in a column for The Hollywood Reporter yesterday, “black words matter.”
Abdul-Jabbar said that even if Snoop was coming from a place of grief, “personal emotion doesn’t justify such a public and misguided attack.”
When a man calls a woman a bitch because she does something he doesn’t like, he is nourishing the already rampant misogyny in society. But when a black man does it, he is perpetuating negative stereotypes about how black men perceive and treat women. That is harmful to the entire African American community. Snoop Dogg has 39.1 million followers on Instagram and 50 Cent [who also attacked King, separately] has 25.3 million followers on Twitter. When they send out to their followers a threatening and abusive tirade, they are influencing a younger generation of men to continue to refer to women who don’t do what men want as bitches. Worse, King started receiving death threats.
The basketball veteran went on to say:
Fame is unforgiving. Most people who make mistakes in their lives have a degree of privacy within which they can heal and redeem themselves. With the famous, nothing is forgotten and rarely is anything forgiven. Kobe did indeed go through an accusation which he said was consensual, but still was adultery. That was 17 years ago, when he was only 24. The case was dismissed and Kobe redeemed himself many times over with his exemplary life since. To me, Kobe was even more exceptional because he learned from his mistakes and devoted himself to being a better person. Few have that kind of strength, courage or commitment. We can love and respect Kobe without canonizing him as perfect. Death often immortalizes the ideal rather than the real. But it was the real Kobe, flaws and all, that we should love.
Kobe would not have appreciated the attacks against Gayle King because he knew they perpetuated a climate of disrespect that would be physically, mentally and socially harmful toward all women, including his wife and daughters.
The emphasis on that last part of the quote is mine, because it is a takeaway we all can sit with in this moment.
Do better, everyone.