Bryant was comfortable in a jersey …
Bryant was comfortable in a jersey …

OPINION: Why must we whitewash the sins of our heroes?

WHY is it our instinct to whitewash our heroes?

Why do we have to pretend people are perfect so we can say we like their music, or the way they played basketball, or that book they wrote?

Why can't we choose to celebrate better heroes?

There are so many more worthy people.

In the aftermath of Kobe Bryant's death, my mind went to the past, to 17 years ago, when he stood accused of raping a young woman.

Kobe himself later conceded, after the charges against him were dropped, that the way he and the woman viewed the incident was very different.

In the post Me Too years, I wonder how the world would react to his words now.

If we would accept the idea that two people can view an act of that sort in such different ways - one as an act of consensual intercourse, the other as rape.

My heart and mind has struggled.

With thoughts of sadness over the others lost, along with Bryant, in the helicopter crash, including his own daughter.

With anger that this dark moment in Bryant's past was suddenly deemed too sensitive, too inappropriate to bring up at the time of his death.

With heartache for the young woman who was ridiculed and abused to such an extent that 17 years ago she found she could not face a trial, who now may be reliving one of the worst times in her life.

I hope one day the whitewashing will stop.