If you watched Friday night’s NBA preseason game between the Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers, you saw Cavs forward/center Tristan Thompson score 17 points and grab 11 rebounds in 30 minutes of play.
However, it’s what happened before the 108-102 Dallas victory tipped off that has had everybody talking, and in some cases crying foul, over the past few days.
In a pregame interview, Clifton grilled Thompson as to his approach to moving back to playing forward.
Thompson replied with “See ball, get ball. Same approach. You know how I do, Tina.” This is nothing new for Thompson, who has routinely joked around with Clifton during her previous two seasons on the FOX Sports Ohio Cavaliers telecasts. As the interview neared its end, Thompson leaned over and planted a quick kiss on Clifton’s head, right after he winked at the camera.
(If you have yet to see the video clip in question, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmlTByKgX6w.)
In the aftermath of the kiss seen nationally via NBA TV’s carriage of the Cleveland feed, people are acting as if Thompson was behaving inappropriately toward Clifton.
Good Lord, it’s not like Thompson and Clifton shared a kiss on the mouth! A kiss is just a kiss, no matter if it’s on the cheek, forehead, or mouth. Was the kiss inappropriate? Sort of, but it’s not that big of a deal.
The pinheads of the Internet are treating this as if it were an act of sexual misconduct. Half of the comments on YouTube are crying racism because of the smooch between Thompson, who is black, and Clifton, who is white.
Heavens to Betsy, this is late 2014. In this day and age, interracial couples and marriages are about as common as having a cup of coffee while reading the daily newspaper every morning.
Kelly Dwyer, writer at Yahoo!’s NBA-centric blog, Ball Don’t Lie, delivered the granddaddy of all overreactions, calling Thompson’s innocuous kiss “not cool, not funny.” Here’s the paragraph that’s made the most rounds on the Web:
“Just because Allie Clifton remained calm and professional and kept a smile following the buss, it doesn’t mean Tristan Thompson wasn’t straight up sexually harassing her. She remained calm and professional because she is a professional – that is to say, she’s doing her [EXPLETIVE DELETED] job. Don’t kiss someone without their consent, ever, and don’t kiss someone without their consent while they’re doing their job.
This isn’t cute or funny or meme-worthy. There should be no marginalizing or rationalizing of this. That could be a mortifying thing for this reporter, and Thompson couldn’t be more in the wrong.”
It isn’t a mortifying thing. As was stated previously, the kiss is 100 percent innocuous in nature. Dwyer completely missed the point.
Besides, if Dwyer had bothered to do research on Allie Clifton before writing that column, he’d have know she’s not scarred by this in the least bit. She’s been happily married for just over a year. I’m certain her husband isn’t too concerned about this funny moment, either.
While no official response about the kiss has been made by Tristan Thompson, Clifton tweeted this yesterday:
In closing, I ask you to just calm the hell down about this. Chill!