Friday, August 24, 2007

Kia Vaughn sues, Part II: The reaction

Some, like the posters at Sports Law Blog, have chosen to discuss Kia Vaughn's lawsuit rationally, talking about the facts of the case, the reality of the law, etc.

Others have not been so kind. At Bob Parks says that Vaughn is coming close to the real definition of a "ho," as defined by Snoop Dogg in the wake of the Imus scandal. Parks "translates" Snoop Dogg's definition apparently for his privileged white readers who just can't decipher the original statement. "We're talking about women that are in the neighborhood who are not gainfully employed and are latching onto men for support." Not considering that 1) Vaughn is a student and basketball player who will likely play in the WNBA and abroad, i.e. job security, and 2) that the lawsuit is not about money but about making a statement.
Scott Soshnick over at Bloomberg News jumps on the Vaughn-is-money-hungry bandwagon and seems to feel personally wounded that Vaughn has betrayed the feelings he had of her as a funny, compassionate person. So when she was oppressed and wounded, that was okay, but when she gets assertive and demands greater discourse and accountability then she is just a money-grubbing--well he didn't say the "h" word but the implication is there.
Jason Ivanitz in Crookston, MN called her a golddigger. The moniker so fitting, he says, because Vaughn picked the day Imus settled with CBS to file the lawsuit. He sees such timing as bad and revealing of her true intentions--money. I see it as good timing: a way to keep the American public aware of what Imus is as he attempts to get back on the airwaves.
What's interesting is that all of these columns mention, at some point, the "fact" that no one knows who Kia Vaughn is. I realize they do this to prove that Vaughn could not have been subject to slander and defamation because she is not famous enough.
Like others, I do not see this going to trial. But if it did I think it would be an interesting argument about what makes someone famous. She is a prominent player on a highly-ranked team. She has received national media attention. She played in a national championship that was on national television. The discussion about the level of attention women athletes receive would be fruitful. But that discussion is unlikely to happen in a climate that sees Kia Vaughn as a martyr when she is wounded and a victim but as greedy (and there are certainly racial undertones to all the adjectives that dance around stereotypes of Black women as lazy and money-grubbing) when she refuses to let the issue lie.

1 comment:

AaronBSam said...

A golddigger? Maybe. But in my opinion, this makes her an official "ho" and her case is therefore null and void. She can't claim slander or defamation if everything said happens to be true!