In a recent interview with USA Olympics basketball team member Kobe Bryant, NBC Sports reporter Chris Collinsworth seemed to question Kobe's patriotism when the player said that he was proud to wear the team USA uniform. Wondering if it was "cool" to be proud of being on Team USA, Collinsworth seemed to surprise even Bryant with the temerity of the question. Why Collinsworth wouldn't think it would be "cool" to be proud of being on the American Olympic basketball team is anyone's guess.
In a portion of the interview, Kobe began to say how thrilled he was to get his Team USA uniform and that he "just stared at it" for a while in awe. Collinsworth followed that heartwarming display of patriotism with a jaw dropping series of questions. Worse, he asked these questions with an absurd smirk stealing across his face, seeming to think that he was about to join Kobe in cynicism over the evil America with his doubting Thomas questions.
Collinsworth: Where does the patriotism come from inside of you? Historically, what is it?
Kobe: Well, you know it’s just our country, it’s… we believe is 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!’
Collinsworth: 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.
Kobe: No, it’s 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.
Apparently Collinsworth was shocked that a black man could be at all patriotic and proud of being a representative of his country. But the real question here isn't if Kobe is proud to wear the Team USA uniform, but why Chris Collinsowrth so automatically thought it wasn't "cool" to be proud of being an American "in this day and age"?
I mean, what the heck was this "historically, what is it" question? Is Collinsworth saying that it is impossible for a black man to be patriotic? Apparently so.
Maybe Chris Collinsworth has delusions of being the next failed sports dude turned Keith Olbermann over at NBC?
All I can say is, "way to go Kobe!"
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(Photo credit: Brekken/ AP, H/T Jamie and msunderestimated.com)