Bomani Jones Credit: The Right Time with Bomani Jones on YouTube

In his first week back on the mic since July, Bomani Jones spoke Friday about the ongoing civil lawsuit against NBA star Dwight Howard, which alleges sexual assault, and the elements that are missing from sports media’s coverage of it.

Jones noted that It Is What It Is with Cam’Ron and Ma&e covered the issue, as did Stephen A. Smith on his podcast (but not on First Take). But even on those shows, Jones pointed out that the gender of the victim was not fully discussed.

Howard is being sued by a man who alleges the former NBA star made inappropriate physical advances and coerced him into having sex with a third man. A filing on behalf of Howard this week denied the assault allegations but admitted to “consensual” sexual activities with the men listed in the original suit.

“I don’t think our industry is equipped to handle this,” Jones said.

Jones added that IIWII actually added some interesting perspective while Smith needed “a little more thought and research.”

Even on ESPN’s website, Jones noted the news article lacked pertinent details.

“It didn’t have nothing about Kitty (the third man), it didn’t have nothing about what Dwight was alleged to have done, none of that,” Jones said to weekly cohost Domonique Foxworth. “We have not reached a point where you can hear something about a man dealing with another man and we’re just like, ‘OK, now let’s discuss what has happened.'”

Foxworth compared it to a discussion around race and the Civil Rights movement.

“It feels like things are going faster right now (for LGBTQ+ people),” Foxworth said. “And then when something like this pops up, we’re reminded that us seemingly progressive-minded people are not in the majority as we might think.”

The media can’t even talk about this problem because it is so taboo in sports, the hosts agreed.

“Just the mere idea is so salacious,” Jones said. “Dwight Howard saying he had a consensual physical interaction with a man … that’s a huge, giant shift.”

Sports reporters still make mistakes covering sexual assault in general. Changing the gender dynamics and nature of the allegations turns everything on its head.

For instance, the lengthy saga around similar allegations toward Trevor Bauer elicited significant media coverage, Jones noted. The response has been quite different around Howard.

“When Dwight Howard was trending, it wasn’t righteous indignation,” Jones said. “It was jokes.”

[The Right Time on YouTube]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.