Ridiculous Yahoo Article Tries to Exploit Sexual Harassment for the Sake of Fake Outrage

tristan-thompsonI might get slammed for my opinion on this, and that’s fine. But I just ran across a Yahoo! Sports article that made me ashamed that I actually bothered to even read it.

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?

Would they?! 

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.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • CBShifflett

    Honestly, she seemed slightly perturbed because he pecked her like a dad would peck his daughter. She’s probably like, “Okay, dude. I’m not some little girl over here needing a peck on the forehead.”

    • sophia zoi

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  • Cemetery Girl

    I think she’s one of the regular sports reporters for the local news (I honestly don’t leave the sports part on, so not 100% positive), so they do get to know the players some. She doesn’t look thrilled, but it wasn’t the most disgusting thing ever. The player would have been better off keeping his lips to himself, but she handled the situation well. I look at it this way, if he wouldn’t have given a male reporter a kiss on the side of the head he shouldn’t have done that with her. (For all I know though, he would have done that with a male reporter too.) Some people are just more touchy feely than others. As a person that is strongly not touchy feely, I always find it weird when other people like to hug a lot or give a friendly peck on the cheek, but they’re just those kinds of people.

  • Nancy B

    Yes, it was too much hyperbole. However, it was unprofessional and disrespectful. For her next interview, I hope she treats him just as seriously as he treated her.

    • GenerallyConfused

      As much hilarity as that could be, that could also make her lose her job. Personally, I would not wish someone to ruin their career because one player decided to be a little too friendly.

      • But her job isn’t in danger because of the buss. It’s in danger because she’s shown herself wildly unprofessional.
        She lacks judgement. She’s immature. Above all, and fatal for a journalist’s career, she has shown she is not to be trusted writing about a subject as emotion-laden as sports.


      • GenerallyConfused

        Well, that would be a better reason for her lose her job, rather than being entirely unprofessional to someone who kissed her on the head.

  • DAV

    By trying to create hysteria over nothing, the “reporter” who wrote the article was diminishing and showing contempt for women who are actually sexually harassed or assaulted. By making a big deal out of something that doesn’t matter, they are showing their contempt for actual issues.

  • lefthandshake

    Article reporter Kelly Dwyer is a sensitive, frustrated ‘nice guy’ who is perpetually in the Friend Zone.

    • Stephen Barlow

      So he NEVER gets laid but pines like a lumberyard.

    • Cemetery Girl

      I hate the whole friend zone concept. Why should a woman want to sleep with a guy just because he’s been nice to her? I’ve always believed in the ability for men and women to be able to just be friends, that’s it, nothing more. Based on the amount of friend zone complaints, maybe I am wrong. I just don’t understand this “I spent time with her, talked to her, hung out with her doing things we both enjoy (or I at least claimed to enjoy), and she won’t even have sex with me” whining. Paying attention to a woman doesn’t require repayment with sex.

      • Sandy Greer

        I never had a male friend who didn’t – at one time or another – come on to me.

        Most men just aren’t looking for women friends. We Friend Zone them. But most men won’t hang around women they don’t find attractive. So, if opportunity arises – they make their move.

        It’s not whining. More like rueful disappointment. You know going in you’re making a mistake, but you do it anyway, and kick yourself later. Lesson learned.

        That’s been my experience, anyway. 😀

      • Cemetery Girl

        Hmmmm, I have had plenty of friends that are guys and they’ve never hit on me. We were friends and nothing more. I have friends that are guys, nothing more. My husband has friends that are female, and they are just friends. If I believed that it was impossible for a guy to have any desire to talk to a female unless he wanted to sleep with her then I would be a highly paranoid person. I’ve been supportive of my kids having friends of the opposite gender. I remember years ago, when my oldest son was in kindergarten he invited a girl from his class to his birthday party. Her parents wouldn’t allow her to come because they felt it was inappropriate for her to be friends with a boy. They were just two little kids that loved to play Power Rangers at recess!

      • Sandy Greer

        I should have said – When single, and not married. Married makes all the difference in the world in how we see one another.

        I don’t speak of the convenient, situational, friends one makes when working. Or married couple friends, made as a couple, of other couples. Friends of one’s children’s friend’s parents. Neither do I speak of kindergartners, who don’t even know what sex is, for the most part.

        >If I believed that it was impossible for a guy to have any desire to talk to a female unless he wanted to sleep with her then I would be a highly paranoid person.

        ^^^Not what I said. Don’t put me there – I won’t stay in that ‘highly paranoid person’ box. Fastest way to shut down a convo is to insert a Straw Man, complete with veiled ad hominem. Guaranteed to turn people away.

      • Cemetery Girl

        No, no, I did mean that if I held that view, I (me, actually me) would be a paranoid person. My husband has female friends. If I held that view then I would be going nuts worrying does it mean that he really wants to sleep with them if the chance happened.
        Perhaps it is because I had male friends all my life. I was a more tomboyish type. I had few dolls but boxes full of toy cars. My earliest playmates were boys, all boys. In school I made female friends, but also had a lot of male friends. This has continued all through life. Even when I was single, I still had more male friends than female, but rarely was there any sexual tension or anything like that. (I have to say rarely because my husband started off as a friend.)

      • Sandy Greer

        Tomboy could make a difference. I was never that.
        And, I suppose – whether the man is Alpha or Beta. I can’t imagine any Alpha settling for ‘just friends’.
        Husbands with female friends don’t see them as ‘sexual’ because they have it at home. When they don’t have it at home (single men, or husbands ‘cut off’) it’s a whole different ball game.
        Too, husbands and wives usually know each other’s friends. Unless they be workplace (situational) friends.

  • Sandy Greer

    It wouldn’t have bothered me. On rare occasion a male stranger may call me “honey”. I don’t mind that, either.