Yesterday, the world stopped as news surfaced of the untimely death of NBA Legend Kobe Bryant.
While many were shocked at the news, Felicia Sonmez of The Washington Post immediately took to Twitter to post a story by The Daily Beast from 2016, focusing on Bryant’s 2003 rape allegations.
The headline, “Kobe Bryant’s Disturbing Rape Case: The DNA Evidence, the Accuser’s Story, and the Half-Confession,” appeared in Sonmez’s tweet along with the link to the article.
However, the tweet backfired as users instantly began to criticize her for using the baller’s untimely death as an opportunity to shame him publicly.
But despite the backlash, she doubled down on her tweets, writing, “Any public figure is worth remembering in their totality… even if that public figured is beloved and that totality unsettling. In another tweet, she wrote, “That folks are responding with rage & threats toward me… speaks volumes about the pressure people come under to stay silent in these cases.”
In the wake of the incident, Sonmez has deleted the tweets and has since been placed on administrative leave by The Washington Post, according to Fox News.
Speaking with Fox News, The Washington Post managing editor said, “National political reporter Felicia Sonmez was placed on administrative leave while The Post reviews whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated The Post newsroom’s social media policy. The tweets displayed poor judgment that undermined the work of her colleagues.”
Sonmez also insisted that following her tweets, she received death threats and other derogatory abuse.
“There’s a concern that the screenshot (of her email inbox) might create some legal issues and could violate Twitter’s terms (of service),” Journalist Matthew Keys explained while insisting that Sonmez posting screenshots is the specific reason she’s placed on leave.
Though Bryant was accused of rape back in 2003, the case was dropped due to the accuser deciding against testifying, resulting in the a civil suit being settled outside of court, Fox News reports.