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Washington Post Suspends Reporter For Ill-Timed Kobe Bryant Tweets

Source: ERIC BARADAT / Getty

While everyone was mourning the passing of Kobe Bryant, one reporter felt the need to revisit the 2003 rape case against Bryant and earned herself a suspension from The Washington Post.

Felicia Sonmez shared a link to a 2016 Daily Beast article that rehashed 2003 rape allegations against Kobe on Sunday just hours after Bryant, 41, his daughter Gianna, 13 and seven other passengers perished in a helicopter crash.  Sonmez’s headass tweet was spotted among the many Tweets paying their respects to Kobe and the victims of the helicopter crash.

Not only did Sonmez receive tons of backlash for her decision to share the article, but she was also put on paid leave. Before that happened she received an email from The Post’s executive editor, Martin Baron which she shared with the New York Times stating:

“Felicia, A real lack of judgment to tweet this. Please stop. You’re hurting this institution by doing this.”

For good measure, a screenshot of Sonmeez’s tweet sharing the story was in the body of the email as well.

Following the initial Tweet that got her in trouble, Sonmez followed it up with a series of tweets detailing all of the negative responses she received. She also shared a screenshot of an email, sharing the sender’s full government that showered her with expletives and called her a  lewd name.

“Well, THAT was eye-opening,” she wrote. “To the 10,000 people (literally) who have commented and emailed me with abuse and death threats, please take a moment and read the story — which was written (more than three) years ago, and not by me.”

Sonmez was then instructed to delete the problematic tweets by The Post’s managing editor Tracy Grant, but if you are a regular on social media you know nothing gets deleted in time because screenshots were being shared up and down timelines

In a statement from Grant on behalf of The Post, her suspension was confirmed:

“National political reporter Felicia Sonmez was placed on administrative leave while The Post reviews whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated the Post newsroom’s social media policy. The tweets displayed poor judgment that undermined the work of her colleagues.”

While her suspension might please those who were upset with her tweets, she does have defenders in the form of fellow colleagues with over 200 Post journalists criticizing the paper’s decision to suspend her.

Oh well, she should have thought about that before she pressed send. While yes, Kobe’s life was made complex due to the rape allegations, there is definitely a time and place for everything. That particular moment wasn’t it.

Let us know where you stand in the comments.

Photo: ERIC BARADAT / Getty

Poor Timing: Reporter Suspended By Washington Post For Sharing Link To Kobe Bryant Rape Story  was originally published on