Gayle King continues to leave folks divided with her question towards Lisa Leslie that caused people like Snoop Dogg to call her out of her name. The rapper caused a wave of discussion for threatening King and calling her a “b*tch.” Some believed Snoop’s words were warranted, while others wholeheartedly believed it was misogynistic, specifically towards a Black woman.
King was the one who brought up the rape allegations against Kobe Bryant when she interviewed Leslie for “CBS This Morning” in early February. The two talked about a myriad of things concerning the late basketball player’s life, but the part that went viral involved King’s question to Leslie: “It’s been said that his legacy is complicated because of a sexual assault charge which was dismissed in 2003, 2004. Is it complicated for you as a woman as a WNBA player?” Leslie responded, “It’s not complicated for me at all” and she didn’t believe Bryant to be that “kind of person.” King followed up with, “But Lisa you wouldn’t see it though. As his friend, you wouldn’t see it,” to which Leslie replied, “And that’s possible. I just don’t believe that.”
The whole segment caused outrage with many people believing it was disrespectful to bring up the rape allegations against Bryant when his wife, Vanessa Bryant, and their kids were still grieving Kobe’s death and their daughter Gianna‘s death in a helicopter crash. King got slammed by social media, along with a few high-profile rappers, including Snoop Dogg who told King via an Instagram post, “Respect the family and back off b*tch before we come get you.”
The verbal abuse and threats King received sparked conversation on how Black women are spoken to, and whether the vitriol against King was warranted. Only a few people came to King’s defense, including Marc Lamont Hill, Michael Eric Dyson and former baller Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
Considering the first clip from the upcoming “Red Table Talk”, Smith was on King’s side as well. “When you first came out and you said what you said in regards to Gayle, I felt like not only were you talking to Gayle but you were talking to me,” Smith said on the show. “Oh no,” Smith continued, to explain her initial reaction to Snoop’s comments towards King. “Snoop has now taken his power flow away from me, away from Willow, away from my mother.”
In another teaser clip for the show, Snoop explained his “intent.”
“I wanted to make sure that what I said was said the right way and I wanted to make sure that the message was across that ‘we love Kobe and be respectful of Vanessa and those kids.’ That’s what the whole intent was. To protect that woman and them babies over there because she’s still grieving, and let’s give them that respect.”
Some people still believe Snoop didn’t have to go on “Red Table Talk” in the first place and King should be the one on the show to apologize.
Some people thought King didn’t need to be on the show and appreciated Smith’s heart-to-heart with Snoop for his derogatory statements.
Either way, the question is still valid as to whether King was contacted for the episode. It appears we’ll have to wait and find out when the episode premieres on Facebook Watch on Wednesday.