Vanessa Bryant, like Deshaun Watson’s accusers, not ready to move on – The Washington Post

Vanessa Bryant, like Deshaun Watson's accusers, not ready to move on - The Washington Post


More than two and a half years later, Kobe Bryant’s widow is still grieving.

She wears all black as she walks into the courtroom, dark sunglasses masking her eyes from the shutter of a photographer’s lens. And once inside, Vanessa Bryant can’t stop the tears from flowing as she shares her pain with juryor even listens to testimony during her civil case against the Los Angeles law enforcement and first responder branches. following the helicopter crash in January 2020 that killed her husband, her 13-year-old daughter and seven others, a handful of sheriff’s deputies and firefighters shared gruesome photos of Kobe Bryant’s remains.

She won’t just walk away from that.

Vanessa Bryant, LA sheriff battles in court over Kobe Bryant crash photos

Likewise, more than two years have passed since quarterback Deshaun Watson lay naked on a spa massage table in Houston, and at least one of his alleged victims is still waiting. for an apology.

She has since given up her career as a massage therapist, although she has operated on a successful business for 11 years. Lauren Baxley no longer feels safe alone with a client because she says Watson, who was then the face of the Houston Texans, tried to turn what should have been a professional therapy session into his personal happy ending. Like a host of other massage therapists claimed

Baxley won’t just move on either.

The myth of moving forward tells us that as days, months, years go by, everything will get better. The wound will heal, and the memories will fade in the back of our minds. And finally, there must come a time when we all want and need to move on with our lives.

This idea that time heals all wounds seems comforting, and perhaps that explains why the simplistic proverb has lasted so long. But we’ve recently seen vivid reminders of why this hopeful expression never really meshed with real life: Bryant’s ongoing battle with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Baxley’s refusal to just take a settlement and walk away.

Therein lies the problem with moving forward. While the news cycle may turn back to football and fans may want to simply remember Kobe as a Los Angeles Lakers great, Watson and Vanessa Bryant’s accusers tell us they’d rather pursue something that feels closer to accountability. They want action, not just more time.

That hasn’t stopped the apologists and enablers in Watson’s world from trying to speed up the healing process.

Thursday, the NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed to a deal over a penalty for Watson, who is now the problem of the Cleveland Browns. Watson will serve an 11-game suspension and pay a fine of $5 million. Following that resolution for his violation of the personal conduct policy of the league, he unwisely stepped in front of a group of reporters. Decked out in his new company colors of orange and brown but looking more like he was clad in cellophane, Watson repeated “move forward” or “push forward” no fewer than six times during the opening minute of answering questions.

Sally Jenkins: Deshaun Watson is the star the NFL deserves: a cynical, vacuous narcissist

“I’m moving on with my career, with my life, and I’m going to continue to stand by my innocence,” Watson said, conflicting previously. an empty apology he served less than a week before in a softball interview.

In his haste to achieve recovery — his own — Watson did not stop there.

“I have to do what’s best for Deshaun Watson at the end of the day. And I know what happened. I’ve been in those situations. But I have to keep pushing and keep moving forward.”

Go ahead and stop before taking any responsibility for the harm done to the massage therapists must be the main talking point of Team Watson, as his agent, David Mulugheta, demonstrated on Twitter.

“Deshaun has always stated that he is innocent of sexual assault. Nothing has changed in what he said. He also said he is sorry the decisions he made created this situation. The settlement allows him to move forward with his life and career,” Mulugheta posted.

Although the first civil lawsuits against Watson were filed more than 17 months ago, and Baxley’s alleged encounter with him took place in June 2020, she was not so quick to “come forward” or “push forward” with hers life and hers career

Baxley’s lawsuit against Watson is still pending and in first person essay for The Daily Beastshe explains why she didn’t just move on.

“I rejected all settlement offers, in part because they did not include any frank admission of remorse and wrongdoing, nor did they include any promises of rehabilitative treatment,” Baxley writes. “Watson still refuses to admit that he harassed and indecent assaulted me.”

Baxley remains the only holdout from a group that agreed to financial settlements with Watson, and her actions demolish any cynic’s theory that women like her were only in it for a big payday. What else would Baxley be looking for? Only she would know, but time clearly did not mend her world, which was “forever damaged”.

And although in her lawsuit Vanessa Bryant is seeking damages from salaried employees in Los Angeles, who urged the judge to suggest that she solve the case because criminal justice will not exist here, she moves forward. She is worth hundreds of millions, so this is not about being paid. It is about demanding justice.

Not all wounds heal over the calendar; Bryant’s panic and anxiety attacks did not come with an expiration date. So, moving forward for Bryant could start by making sure that any sheriff or firefighter responsible for such indecency is held accountable for sharing the crash scene photos, and making sure they never appear on social media.

Time keeps going for those of us who followed both cases. As always, a new injustice will arise and it will enrage us, then we will turn our attention to the next one, and the one after that, and the one that follows. But look at Bryant’s face, and read Baxley’s words. They are not ready to move on.

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