ESPN Puts Sacramento Documentary Premiere On Hold

Kevin Johnson on MTP 2014ONLINESACRAMENTO — The long-awaited chronicles of how a mid-size city on the west coast saved its only professional sports team will be held up just a little bit longer.

Sports Illustrated (SI) reported Oct. 12, that ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary of how the Sacramento Kings were able to remain in the city has been temporarily postponed.

SI’s Richard Deitsch wrote that “ESPN has decided to delay its on-the-air premiere” of the 77-minute documentary, Down In the Valley, “in light of recent articles revisiting allegations of sexual misconduct involving Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson,” the report stated.

“We are re-evaluating the content presentation of it and delaying the premiere,” John Dahl, the vice president and executive producer of ESPN Films and Original Content said in Deitsch’s article. “When [director] Jason Hehir and we collectively agree that the film is ready and we are comfortable with it, then we will pick that air date. I think the most important thing here is to make sure it’s clear that we are not tone deaf and we’re aware of a renewed focus on certain issues.”

Last month, a Deadspin online article emerged that Mandi Koba said she was allegedly sexually abused as a then 15-year-old girl by Johnson 20 years ago in Phoenix. The mayor, a former NBA player, denies Koba’s claim. Koba, now 36, is living in Virginia. She was going by the name of “Kim Adams” in legal documents and she was reportedly paid $230,000 in an out-of-court settlement and signed an agreement not to discuss the terms of the agreement.

“It’s not true,” Johnson said days after the online story was published in September. “Something that happened 20 years. You just gotta move on. It’s part of the territory.”
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By Antonio Harvey
Observer Staff Writer

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