A CNN reporter sparked a multitude of reactions Sunday on Twitter for writing in the wake of Kobe Bryant’s death from a helicopter crash that the 41-year-old NBA player “faced a very credible rape accusation.”
Nathan McDermott, a reporter for CNN’s KFILE, wrote the comment along with a retweet of a 2017 Daily Beast article that recounted Bryant’s rape allegation.
“Yes Kobe Bryant was one of the greatest basketball players of all time, but he’s also faced a very credible rape accusation where the woman was choked and submitted to a rape-kit test which found injuries “not consistent with consensual sex,” McDermott wrote.
Some Twitter users questioned McDermott’s timing.
“More proof that #CNNisTrash. Anything for clicks,” wrote one user.
“And you wonder why the US public hates the media and why CNN’s ratings are in the toilet,” wrote another.
“And ? Serious he literally just died. God will judge,” read another comment.
In a follow-up comment, McDermott doubled down.
“Think whatever you want about him, but if you think this is immaterial and shouldn’t be talked about in the aftermath of his death, well, I think you’re wrong,” he wrote.
Bryant’s rape allegation stemmed from a 2003 incident in which was charged with attacking a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort. Bryant denied the charge, saying the two had consensual sex, and the charge eventually was dropped.
The woman later filed a lawsuit against Bryant that was settled out of court. Despite the allegation, the NBA champ’s following remained popular in Los Angeles and throughout the world.
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and as many as seven other people were killed in the helicopter crash in Calabasas – about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles – early Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.