Kobe Bryant, Assault Charges and the Modern Age of Sports

The police are now investigating the charges that Kobe Bryant, in church, assaulted a man who was taking pictures of Bryant. The point here is not to discuss the details of that case—there are enough articles on the Internet on the subject. I'd like to discuss what all of this really means.

As a general recap, it appears that Kobe Bryant was in church, thought he saw someone taking pictures of him, went over to the young man he suspected, grabbed his cell phone, saw there were no pictures there and gave the camera back.

Now, it's going to be inevitable that there are going to be two sides on this whole discussion: those who attack Kobe and those who defend him—and in doing so, attack the young man who filed assault charges on Kobe.

Before racing to judgement on one side or the other though, is it possible to take a step back and consider that both parties are actual people? I mean, I know that it's so much easier to demonize the world than to consider that in such a scenario there are no demons—but let's just, for grins, consider the scenario from both sides. 

On Kobe's side, he's a world-famous athlete. He has camera crews perpetually following him around. When he doesn't have a camera crew, he's got the entire civilian world snapping pictures with their cell phones.

Now, I know there's the whole notion that one loses their right to privacy by being a public figure. However, that doesn't change the fact that a person can be driven nuts after a while by the constant attention.

When you're in church, possibly praying, the thought could occur to you with yet another picture snapped, "Is nothing sacred anymore?"

Simply from the human perspective, I can understand why Kobe may have snapped. We can talk all we want about what he "should have" done, but walking the proverbial mile in his shoes wouldn't scratch the surface—we'd have to run a marathon in them.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers