Sacramento Kings

The NBA cleared Kings coach Luke Walton of sexual assault. Here’s what fans had to say

What you need to know about NBA, Kings investigation clearing Luke Walton

Sports reporter Kelli Tennant has filed sexual assault allegations against Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton. Investigators hired by the team and NBA said there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations. Here's a look at the issue.
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Sports reporter Kelli Tennant has filed sexual assault allegations against Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton. Investigators hired by the team and NBA said there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations. Here's a look at the issue.

A joint investigation by the NBA and the Sacramento Kings cleared new Kings head coach Luke Walton of sexual assault. Now the fans get to have their say.

Former Los Angeles TV reporter Kelli Tennant accused Walton of assaulting her as a Golden State Warriors assistant coach in 2014. The two were friends until Walton, who is married, allegedly pinned her down and repeatedly kissed her in his Santa Monica hotel room, Tennant said in an April news conference.

But Tennant opted not to participate in the NBA’s investigation in light of her ongoing civil lawsuit, and the investigation thus found no evidence of an assault.

Some Kings fans felt vindicated to see the league wave off Tennant’s accusations.

Others seemed more suspicious of Walton, despite the NBA’s findings.

And many didn’t like how the team handled the accusations and investigation shook out, regardless of Friday’s announcement.

“The Kings kept Walton’s face on the Golden One (Center) exterior screen throughout. I remember being on the balcony at Punch Bowl Social the day after the accusations became public, wondering why I was looking at Walton’s giant face every 90 seconds. I do not presume guilt or innocence, Walton deserves the same administration of justice we all enjoy, but the team’s presumption was apparent. I think this instance is emblematic of the Kings approach throughout,” fan Jeremiah Ramirez wrote in an email.

What do you think of the NBA’s investigation? Let us know in the comments.

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Benjy Egel covers local restaurants and bars for The Sacramento Bee as well as general breaking news and investigative projects. A Sacramento native, he previously covered business for the Amarillo Globe-News in Texas.
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