"She was simply a 'piece of meat' available for his pleasure, despite her clear lack of consent or interest."
That is just part of the complaint that sports reporter Kelli Tennant alleges in a lawsuit filed against Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton
. Tennant said that while Walton — who she considered a "trusted mentor and colleague," — was working as the assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors, she was sexually assaulted by Walton in his hotel room.
Tennant goes on to allege that she had gone up to Walton's room to drop off a copy of her new book but instead of taking the book and leaving, he pinned her to the bed, groping and kissing her against her will. Kelli says that she was "terrified" and when Walton finally released her he laughed.
In the age of #MeToo, we have heard the story all too often. Powerful men, taking advantage of women for their sexual pleasure and hoping that the woman will be too afraid to speak up. But this time, Tennant did. Now the Sacramento Kings, who hired Walton recently, must decide if they are going to continue to let him coach or cut ties with him completely.
What the Kings do now will define how they and other NBA teams handle sexual harassment and assault in their ranks post-#metoo. They should stand up and denounce Walton's behavior and send him on his way to face criminal charges. Please sign the petition and ask The Sacramento Kings to take a stand against Walton's abhorrent behavior. Tell them to fire him now.