Sacramento Kings documentary airing delayed over Kevin Johnson sexual-assault allegations

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ESPN planned to air a documentary Oct. 20 on Sacramento keeping the Kings. Presumably, Sacramento mayor and former NBA player Kevin Johnson would have been a hero in the film.

Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated:

In light of recent articles revisiting allegations of sexual misconduct involving Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, ESPN has decided to delay its on-the-air premiere of Down In The Valley, a 30 for 30 ESPN Film that focuses on the fight to keep the Sacramento Kings from relocating to another city.

Deitsch is referring to an article by Dave McKenna of Deadspin, in which Mandi Koba described how Johnson – then a star point guard for the Suns – sexually assaulted her as a 16-year-old in 1996. Deadspin also posted video of her detailing the abuse to police at the time:

This is all obviously troubling. One concern is why this is getting attention only now. The Phoenix New Times covered these allegations in 1997. 1997! Other than Koba going on the record in the media, what has changed? As a society, we are too reluctant to believe potential victims of sexual assault. This is not a court of law. There might not be ample evidence to find Johnson committed a crime beyond reasonable doubt. But if we’re troubled by the allegations now, we should have been troubled for the last 18 years.

Johnson, who maintained a sterling public image despite the New Times reports, was later investigated for “inappropriate sexual conduct” of multiple students at St. HOPE Academy – again detailed by McKenna.

McKenna has also covered Johnson using public money toward private ends, using private employees to do quasi-public work, trying to keep his private emails public and dissolving a historic black mayors group.