And All it Took Was Cris Collinsworth Sounding Unpatriotic.
Cris Collinsworth asked Kobe what he thought when he first received his Olympic jersey, and Kobe said he was in awe. He said, “I had goosebumps. I just laid it across my bed and stared at it for a while. … This is the ultimate in basketball.”
Collinsworth then asked, “Where does the patriotism come from inside of you? Historically, what is it?”
Kobe said, “Well, you know it’s just our country, it’s… we believe it’s the greatest country in the world. It has given us so many great opportunities, and it’s just a sense of pride that you have; that you say ‘You know what? Our country is the best!’”
He seemed a little bit surprised, so he asked, “Is that a ‘cool’ thing to say, in this day and age? That you love your country, and that you’re fighting for the red, white and blue? It seems sort of like a day gone by.”
View the look on Collinsworth’s face when he says that in this video.
Kobe said, “No, it’s not a cool thing for me to say. I feel great about it, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I mean, this is a tremendous honor.”
I don’t know what the point of his question was. Maybe he was prodding controversy? Maybe he really did wonder why Kobe loved this great country?
If he does have any questions about why it’s cool to love America, he ought to do some real reporting like Reuters correspondent Chris Buckley did, interviewing rural citizens in September who had come to Beijing to protest their condition. Buckley was beaten and detained for his work.
UPDATE: I’ve written a post on the situation on my media blog analyzing the question in depth. I don’t really think it was unpatriotic per se, just terribly worded.