It is impossible to defend NBA legend Karl Malone’s sordid personal life.
At age 20, while a sophomore at Louisiana Tech University, Malone impregnated a 13-year-old girl in his hometown. And for the next 17 years, as he earned fame, fortune, and adulation as a professional athlete, he never took responsibility for the child he sired. He denied and/or ignored his son, Demetress Bell.
It was a repeat of a familiar pattern. Three years earlier, at age 17, Malone fathered twins, Daryl and Cheryl Ford, with a 17-year-old classmate. He visited the twins in the hospital shortly after their birth, then disappeared from their lives until 1998.
As it pertains to his personal life, pride, ignorance, and irresponsibility ruled “the Mailman,” a nickname Malone earned for his on-court reliability. “The Deadbeat” captures Malone’s approach to fatherhood. "Statutory rapist" might be another description.
This weekend, as the NBA celebrated its All-Star weekend in Utah, the league was forced to include the Mailman in its annual midseason celebration. Malone judged the Saturday-night dunk contest and sat courtside during Sunday’s game. Social media spent the weekend ridiculing Malone and chastising the league for honoring Malone, the NBA’s third all-time leading scorer.
HBO’s Bomani Jones led the outrage machine, roasting Malone as if the retired power forward were O.J. Simpson crashing the Goldman family reunion.
My questions: What should the NBA have done? And would there be less heat on Malone if he were a lifelong Democrat Party supporter and frequent guest on Epstein Island?
Let me be clear. I do not want to play the “what about” game. Malone’s actions were and are indefensible. But burying its head is the only option the NBA really had. The league is filled with sexually irresponsible young men. Drawing a sexual morality line in the sand with Malone would set a precedent that would jeopardize the reputations of a large number of current and past NBA players.
Kobe Bryant is a deity. He bought his way out of sexual assault allegations. You think he’s the only one? I don’t.
Professionalized sports – collegiate and above – no longer pretend to support a moral code. They support a political code. The political code is secular. The socia media algorithms established in Silicon Valley determine our highly fungible morality.
The same people ripping Malone for pedophilia defend “child-friendly” drag queen shows and men identifying as women entering girls' bathrooms. The culture affirms every immoral feeling and desire held by leftists. The twice-convicted white pedophile whom Kyle Rittenhouse shot was a victim of white supremacy.
Again, that sounds like whataboutism. It’s a plea for consistent logic and morality.
The NBA doesn’t know how to deal with Karl Malone because the culture has turned its back on the truth spelled out in the Bible. Our standards are no longer based on truth; they’re based on what serves political power. Malone is being vilified 40 years after his crimes because it serves the Democrat Party.
Malone is a member of the National Rifle Association. He has supported Republican politicians. He’s no more or less moral than your average courtside-sitting gangsta rapper or Epstein Island-visiting politician.
The hate directed at Malone seems disingenuous and poorly timed. But there is no statute of limitations on virtue-signaling, especially when it comes to black men who defy liberal orthodoxy. Malone is getting off easy. The machine placed Bill Cosby in prison for his decades-old crimes. I’m sure Cosby would have preferred being reviled via Twitter than being caged in Pennsylvania.
No one should feel sorry for Cosby or Malone.
But we should desire a more consistent standard on character assassination. We should want the people clamoring to make Malone persona non grata at basketball games to push for a similar exclusion of drag queens at libraries and schools.
I can’t think of anything more diabolical than an adult sexualizing a child. Who poses a bigger threat to children today, Karl Malone or the second-grade schoolteacher who wants to share his or her sex life with students?
The NBA is adhering to the cultural norms we established. America no longer cares about sexual immorality. We care about affirming feelings and desires, whether they be related to overeating, rejection of gender, or swiping left and right for sex.
If Malone voted for the right political party, few people would care that he was once a "minor-attracted person."