A bronze statue of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna was placed Wednesday at the crash site in Calabasas, California, where the Bryants and seven others were tragically killed.
January 26th 2022 marked two years since the helicopter crash, which was determined by federal investigators as having been caused by pilot disorientation due to foggy conditions.
The statue, created by sculptor Dan Medina, shows Kobe Bryant in his Lakers uniform with his arm around Gianna, who is also wearing a basketball uniform with a basketball in her hand.
What appears to be a nice gesture turned into something else as fans called the statue disrespectful for only memoralizing Kobe and his daughter. In reality, the bottom of the statue had the name of the others who perished, but that did not ease the complains of people.
“Still to this day my deepest condolences,” began one. “[But] respectfully in my most humble as a sincere opinion, nine people died including little girls, mothers, fathers, loved ones.”
“[It’s an] awesome gesture [but I] just thought maybe the others should be recognized as well,” it was suggested.
“I think this is a mistake,” began another disapproval. “There were seven others who also lost their lives, whose lives are just as important. What is this? A plaque for their grave also? Kobe and his daughter standing above them? This seems foul.
“If you’re gonna make a beautiful statue like this one, leave it for Kobe and his daughter, but don’t put the other names on it. No one needed Kobe Bryant and his daughter hovering above their names to recognize that this was a tragedy where multiple families and loved ones were impacted.”
The accident site on the Calabasas Peak Trail in Los Angeles has long been visited by fans of the five-time NBA champion.
A lawsuit related to the crash is set to go to trial soon as lawyers for Vanessa Bryant allege photos of the area following the crash, including images of those who died, were shared widely amongst police and fire employees.