The sports world was rocked by the shocking and tragic news of one of the greatest athletes of all-time, former NBA player Kobe Bryant. Additionally, Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter accident.
Undoubtedly, this news affected many people, including many former and current athletes, sports fans, those who knew Bryant and the victims personally, and those who did not, but grew up watching him.
That’s the thing about it. Kobe Bryant was a larger than life figure. A sports icon. A legend. A guy who was doing as much off the court with his philanthropic efforts over the past couple years as he did on it. You don’t expect somebody like that to die so young (41 years old). That’s why it is OK to feel sadness for the situation, for the families involved, feel pain, even if you’re not rich, famous or a personal friend.
Several Jaguars players and personnel members took to social media to react to the situation:
- The official Twitter account of the Jacksonville Jaguars waited until 8:24 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to post its tribute, paying homage to both of Bryant’s professional numbers:
Rest In Peace to a legend of sport. pic.twitter.com/pz93dRsps8— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) January 27, 2020
- Tony Khan, senior vice president of football administration and technology, urges us to donate to a cause Kobe and Gianna were passionate about:
RIP Kobe & Gianna Bryant. Whether or not you were a fan of Kobe or @Lakers, please consider donating to a cause that was important to Kobe and Gianna: development of women’s basketball programs, at any level, youth to professional. It would be a nice way to honor their memories.— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) January 26, 2020
- Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell, who earned defensive MVP honors at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, paid his respects:
I am honored to have had the pleasure of meeting Kobe. I will forever be inspired by the way he lived his life! He was what every athlete strives to be! Prayers up to his family! #GoneTooSoon #RIPKobe pic.twitter.com/yI9z9qNT08— Calais Campbell (@CalaisCampbell) January 27, 2020
- Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark, who scored a touchdown in the Pro Bowl, calls Bryant a legend:
RIP to a legend man— DJ Chark (@DJChark82) January 26, 2020
- Jaguars quarterback Josh Dobbs speaks on the way Bryant inspired people:
“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.”— Josh Dobbs (@josh_dobbs1) January 26, 2020
- Kobe Bryant
He was the ultimate competitor and man that lived by his words. Love and appreciate the people in your life! #RIPKobe pic.twitter.com/PQNI6WJSl2
- Jaguars offensive tackle Cam Robinson referring to Kobe “Bean” Bryant:
Not Bean— Cam. (@crobinson_68) January 26, 2020
- Jaguars punter Logan Cooke had this to say:
- Jaguars tight end was also shocked by Bryant’s unexpected passing:
- Fellow Jaguars tight end likely referring to the situation:
This shit really got me sad G— Charles “Chuck” Jones II (@Money_JonesII) January 26, 2020
- Jaguars offensive lineman Will Richardson feeling heartbroken:
— William Richardson (@Will_MadlyLoved) January 26, 2020
- Director of public relations for the Jaguars, Tad Dickman, also posted a message:
Tears thinking about his family— Tad Dickman (@TDickman89) January 27, 2020
Smiles for what he did to a sport that brought me my best friends & so many memories
Anger for losing someone making such a positive impact
Motivated to embrace life & tell loved ones how I feel
Saying “KOBE” every time I toss something
Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew also posted about Bryant on his Instagram story. Other current and former Jaguars players such as Dede Westbrook, Najee Goode, Jimmy Smith and Josh Scobee retweeted several messages about the tragedy as well. Others may have felt social media wasn’t the right place to speak on it, but it is clear the entire sports community is mourning the loss of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, as well as the other victims.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the families affected by this terrible tragedy.