It started out when I saw the headline: Tristan Thompson kisses a sideline reporter, and he really, really screwed up. For those of you who might not know, Tristan Thompson is a professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
So, when I read that headline, I just shook my head wondering what the hell some pro athlete did now. I’m imagining that he went in for some long, romantic kiss. Maybe of the “French” variety.
Naturally, I clicked the article and began to read it to see what all the fuss was about.
“Prior to the contest, FOX Sports sideline reporter Allie Clifton attempted to discuss as much with Thompson, who responded by disgusting us as much as humanly possible,” Kelly Dwyer (a male by the way) wrote on Yahoo! Sports.
A video of the incident was posted underneath.
Now, I didn’t watch the video at this point. Instead, I chose to finish the article before seeing what “disgusting” act transpired between Thompson and this reporter.
The article concluded with a nice little rant brutally condemning this “horrific” act committed by Thompson:
Just because Allie Clifton remained calm and professional and kept a smile following the buss, it doesn’t mean Tristan Thompson wasn’t straight up sexually harassing her. She remained calm and professional because she is a professional – that is to say, she’s doing her [EXPLETIVE DELETED] job. Don’t kiss someone without their consent, ever, and don’t kiss someone without their consent while they’re doing their job.
This isn’t cute or funny or meme-worthy. There should be no marginalizing or rationalizing of this. That could be a mortifying thing for this reporter, and Thompson couldn’t be more in the wrong. Just because you’re working with someone of the opposite sex, it doesn’t mean a sly innuendo, pat on the rear, or kiss on national television is in any way appropriate. You want to lay your uneasy flirt game on someone? Wait two hours and take it to a bar. Grow up.
At this point, I was worked up. I mean, what the hell did this guy do? Was he a raving lunatic who had the nerve to sexually assault a female reporter on national television? Surely after this kind of diatribe, the video I was about to watch had to be nothing short of shocking.
Wait, that was it? He kissed her on the side of the head. That’s all. He wasn’t sexually harassing her. And this sure as hell isn’t something that was as “disgusting as humanly possible.” It was a peck on the side of her head. And if you watch the video, there was nothing sexual about it.
Should he have done it? Probably not. But who’s to say they don’t have a friendly relationship off camera? I’m sure this isn’t the first time she’s interviewed him. Often, players and members of the media develop close friendships among one another. As a Spurs fan, I can assure you that Greg Popovich’s interactions with TNT’s Craig Sager have become NBA legend. And while he’s never kissed him, he has said and done things that (if someone didn’t know the circumstances) could be completely taken out of context.
But even if you’re not thrilled that he acted strange during the interview and then kissed her on the side of the head, the way in which this article is written is absolutely ridiculous hyperbole. If you just read the article alone, without seeing the video, you’d think that he had forced himself on her, then mauled her on camera.
When I say there are too many people who seem to live their lives just looking for the next thing by which to be “outraged,” this is what I’m talking about. This is a classic case of some “journalist” trying to make something out of absolutely nothing.
Though maybe I’m wrong. I’m sure there will be some who agree that this was some kind of “horrific act.” But, I’m sorry, I just completely disagree. This is something that Thompson probably shouldn’t have done, but if you watch the video there was nothing malicious about it. And it sure as hell wasn’t “as disgusting as humanly possible.” At worst it was probably an innocent act of poor judgement. But if it actually “upset” you, well… just, wow. That’s all I’ll really say to that.
But if Dwyer wants to play the outrage game, couldn’t I have simply written an article titled White Yahoo Reporter Outraged Because Black Athlete Kisses White Female?
Because couldn’t someone trying to make something out of nothing claim that this over the top outrage stems from the fact that a black male kissed a white female? I mean, if Tom Brady gave her a peck on the side of the head, would this writer have been so upset?
See how that works?
Again, maybe I’m “underselling” this. But I just don’t believe that I am. I think I’m someone who’s a pretty solid defender of women’s rights, women’s equality, and I’m staunchly opposed to sexual harassment. But, in my opinion, this article tried to make something out of nothing. And Kelly Dwyer should be ashamed of himself for writing such an outrageously inflammatory article purely for the sake of drumming up cheap outrage through ridiculous hyperbole.
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