Kobe King speaks out on Wisconsin racism controversy

Can we get through an entire week without some sort of insanity, or is that too much to ask for Wisconsin basketball in 2020? Badgers’ strength and conditioning coach Erik Helland resigned after using a racial epithet, and the timing seems very convenient for Kobe King, who quit on Wisconsin in late January.

For the fellow dumb dumbs, let’s learn a new word together.

epithet: noun. an adjective or descriptive phrase expressing a quality characteristic of the person or thing mentioned.

First of all, Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State Journal have been all over the entire Kobe King drama from the start.

Helland told a story to a group of three walk-ons following a shootaround before Wisconsin’s win over Ohio State on January 3. He quoted somebody who used a bad word while he was working for the Chicago Bulls.

Weeks later, according to the State Journal, Helland heard Kobe King could use this as a way to become immediately eligible to play for his new team next season. This would be huge for King’s career because as it sits right now, he will sit out out approximately 50 out of around 85 college basketball games by transferring.

Kobe King speaks out

King said he told Wisconsin administrators about this story last Friday. Helland self-reported to Gard on Saturday and the athletic department on Sunday. Helland was placed on administrative leave Monday and resigned Thursday.

King said he did not want Helland to lose his job, but he had to know this would be a major story. Social media absolutely feeds on racism accusations as it brings out the most extreme reactions from all sides. This would’ve been a massive controversy hovering around the Wisconsin basketball program had he been kept around. Helland likely had no choice but to step down.

It really shouldn’t be this way because even though Helland had no bad intentions, this is a major hit to his reputation as he tries to land another job. It will be the first thing that comes up when you Google his name forever. Helland is 56 years old and worked in the NBA for 25 years with no controversy at all. Do we really think that at age 56 he said, ‘Ya know what, I think I’ll give racism a shot?’ Of course not. Several people in the Wisconsin basketball program came out in support of Erik Helland.

Helland quoted a bad word used by somebody else, apologized and thought everything was okay. Instead, he is forever branded as a racist.

Justin Fields Rule

The potential game plan from Kobe King can be linked to Buckeyes star quarterback Justin Fields.

When Fields was a freshman at Georgia, somebody in the student section said a bad word about him, and many believe that is part of the reason the NCAA gave him immediate eligibility to play for Ohio State this past fall.

Somebody on the same campus as you uses a bad word and you’re granted immediate eligibility. If that’s the precedent we’re setting, the rule for sitting out one year for a transfer needs to be eliminated.

Nothing came out about Helland’s comments for nearly a full month until King decided to leave. He has the most to gain from this and it’s possible he just made the decision to end a person’s career and crush his reputation for personal gain.

Photo courtesy of UWBadgers.com