I agree with a lot of what you’ve said here. I do take exception however with you continuing to bring up that he was never convicted. He wasn’t convicted or even tried because the victim was so hounded and vilified that she essentially had no other option but to drop the case. That’s one of the nuances that needs to be taken into account in this story. She was beaten up and bloody with too many lacerations on her genitals to be able to count and he apologized. It’s not actually in question what happened in this particular instance. The fact that he thought that kind of sex was consensual is pretty problematic.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t multiple factors in play or that Kobe Bryant shouldn’t be remembered for all of the good that he did, including being man enough to apologize. In this particular instance, saying, he was never convicted is moot, however.
I wrote something yesterday about how we should be looking at all of these people as human beings and not taking sides about who is good and who is bad. I stand behind that sentiment, even though I’ve taken some heat for it, but that doesn’t mean that we should pretend that perhaps he didn’t really do anything wrong.
I think the best way to honor someone is to see all of who they are in all of their humanity, particularly if they’ve tried to do better after making mistakes, as he seems to have done — not by putting him on a pedestal and not by minimizing any past wrongdoings. Just embracing all of his humanity!