Kobe Bryant Murals Remain Untouched Amid Widespread Looting in Los Angeles

Jesse Pantuosco
June 03, 2020 - 10:30 am

Widespread looting amid the George Floyd protests has caused extensive damage to virtually every major city in the United States. Los Angeles has been particularly hard hit with mayor Eric Garcetti citing damage and vandalism to over 120 businesses. However, protesters have been careful to stay clear of any and all Kobe Bryant memorials, leaving portraits and artwork of the Lakers legend untouched. Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, posted multiple Instagram stories, confirming that all of Kobe’s murals across the city remain intact.

Bryant, who passed away in a helicopter crash that also claimed his daughter Gianna this past January, was one of the most vocal athletes when Eric Garner was choked to death by New York police in 2014, famously wearing an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Many have noted the similarities between Garner’s death in New York and what happened to Floyd, who was suffocated by officer Derek Chauvin (now facing charges for third-degree murder) in Minneapolis last week.

“My husband wore this shirt years ago and yet here we are again,” wrote Vanessa Bryant in response to recent events. “Do not use innocent lives lost as an excuse to loot. BE AN EXAMPLE OF THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE.”

In a divisive time, it seems the memory of Bryant, the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (who reflected on the recent riots in an op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times), Karl Malone and LeBron James, is one thing that still unites us.

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