Culture of Hoops

Dear Adam Silver, Suspend Tristan Thompson Now For Kissing Reporter

Dear Commissioner Silver,

During a pregame interview before the exhibition contest between the Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers, Allie Clifton was doing her job by speaking to Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson when this happened:


Sometimes we don’t say anything when we notice a wrongdoing because it goes without saying. It’s almost empirical. The consequence of this silence is that the perpetrator (in this case, Thompson), and those who might feel the urge to commit similar acts, believe there is no consequence for their action. Kissing a stranger without their consent is wrong, and potentially a crime. Thompson choosing to kiss Clifton in a professional setting just because the urge flowed within him is inherently and brazenly disrespectful, and unfair to Clifton who has to work with Thompson no matter what.

We aren’t even talking about being caught in an unclear cell phone video. Thompson, as an employee representing the NBA, kissed Clifton while being the focus of a public broadcast. Clearly, he believes this is okay – everyone will know he was just goofing around and joking when he committed sexual harassment on live television.

Commissioner Silver, I am requesting that you act immediately. Tristan Thompson needs to be suspended right now. Like today. It should have happened over the weekend, but it didn’t. Thompson is not an irredeemable human being because of one idiotic choice; however, he did commit sexual harassment. Seen by millions of eyeballs or not, a player should be suspended, not simply fined, for multiple games if there is proof of sexual harassment in the workplace. We have undeniable proof.

Be in front of this situation instead of waiting on a flood of people to notice.

The NBA does not have a “players kissing reporters” problem, but that doesn’t mean this should be ignored. I cannot watch the video without cringing. Thompson did not have a modicum of respect for Clifton in that moment. The kiss is inexcusable and easily merits a multiple-game suspension.

Please do the right thing and suspend Tristan Thompson multiple games for committing sexual harassment.

Thanks in advance.

Aaron Lanton

Featured image courtesy of Erik Daniel Drost/Flickr.

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