In a pre-game interview Friday, Cavaliers F/C Tristan Thompson kissed FSO courtside reporter Allie Clifton on the side of the head after being asked about his return to the power forward position. Thompson was promptly reamed by sources across the internet.
Nearly five million viewers have already tuned in to watch the damning YouTube clip (below), and many of them have gone to great lengths, in the comments section, to demonstrate the utter fatuousness and depravity of humankind.
Meanwhile, in more established media, Yahoo's Kelly Dwyer (a man), immediately laid into Thompson for his unprofessionalism:
"Just because Allie Clifton remained calm and professional and kept a smile following the buss, it doesn’t mean Tristan Thompson wasn’t straight up sexually harassing her. She remained calm and professional because she is a professional – that is to say, she’s doing her [EXPLETIVE DELETED] job. Don’t kiss someone without their consent, ever, and don’t kiss someone without their consent while they’re doing their job.
"This isn’t cute or funny or meme-worthy," Dwyer further opined. "There should be no marginalizing or rationalizing of this. That could be a mortifying thing for this reporter, and Thompson couldn’t be more in the wrong. Just because you’re working with someone of the opposite sex, it doesn’t mean a sly innuendo, pat on the rear, or kiss on national television is in any way appropriate. You want to lay your uneasy flirt game on someone? Wait two hours and take it to a bar. Grow up."
even called for Thompson's suspension: "Some of you are going to poo-poo this as an overreaction, primarily because Clifton handled it with so much grace," writer Spencer Lund decreed. "But men should never kiss a woman without their permission and they certainly shouldn’t kiss a woman when she’s just trying to do her job."
The sages at BroBible
saw fit to chime in with rote words of reprimand as well: "Being a female sports reporter is hard work. Not only is it a male-dominated world, untoward expectations of everything from looks, to dress, to demeanor are heaped upon woman reporters, the kind that no one ever places on their male counterparts. It’s fucked up. One way to perpetuate that bullshit, and not be an active force for good in the world, is to kiss a sideline reporter in the middle of an interview. Hey, don’t fucking do that. Ever."
Despite what certainly seem like honorable sentiments — never mind that they arrive pre-packaged from a corps of male writers rushing to pre-empt (and maybe overcompensate for?) potential feminist backlash — what's annoying is the degree to which bloggers make pronouncements with only YouTube-deep knowledge of a given situation.
Clifton, who is indeed a consummate professional, and who enjoys friendly relationships
with the players, clarified things in a tweet Monday afternoon:
Here's the video: