'Someone has no soul': Outrage over 'disgusting' act at Kobe Bryant mural

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

A mural depicting Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna has been vandalised in Texas for the second time in a matter of weeks.

Kobe and Gianna were among nine people killed in a devastating helicopter crash in California last week.

‘MORON’: NBA star’s ‘disrespectful’ act during Kobe Bryant tribute

Murals of the father and daughter have been popping up all around America, mainly in Los Angeles where Kobe was a Lakers legend.

A mural for Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna outside the Staples Centre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

However one in Austin, Texas has been targeted by vandals, with the word ‘rapist’ being written across the mural.

The mural, created by Texas-based graffiti artists Felix Jaimes (aka Snuk One), Josue Rivera (aka Laced and Found) and Riki Loring was unveiled on January 30.

But between Thursday evening and Friday morning, someone had spray-painted ‘rapist’ on the work.

Jaimes told McClatchy News in Texas they were able to paint over it.

“There was already people there,” Jaimes said.

“It was sad seeing their faces, because there were kids and families there that wanted to take photos with it.

“And to come up to the wall to see everybody really bummed out, that hurt even more.”

Gianna and Kobe Bryant in Las Vegas in 2019. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The mural was reportedly defaced again on February 1, with ‘rapist’ written between Bryant’s eyes.

“Fortunately there were other people there to put a stop to it,” Jaimes said.

“The woman wrote with a Sharpie and a fan was able to wipe it off.”

Even though the word was able to be removed, there is still a “faint outline that can be seen.”

Kobe faced sexual assault charges in 2003, but the case was dropped because his accuser wasn’t willing to testify.

The woman later filed a lawsuit that was settled out of court.

Basketball fans were left shocked that someone would deface the mural at this time of grieving.

Memorial at Staples Centre taken down

A massive memorial created by the public outside Staples Centre in LA was being dismantled on Monday (local time), with an official saying some of the items would go to Bryant's widow and other family members.

The cleanup of flowers, balloons, jerseys, stuffed toys and basketballs began at 4am, with a fence erected around the site to keep the cleanup out of public view.

Fans spontaneously began creating the memorial in a plaza outside the arena as word of the tragedy truckled through. The memorial kept growing for a week, with personal messages written on many of the items.

By mid-morning Monday more than 1350 basketballs had been boxed up.

Bryant's widow Vanessa had requested items, which were to be cataloged and shipped to the family. Flowers will be composted and spread around plants near Staples Centre.

Fans were urged to donate to a Bryant foundation rather than bring more gifts and flowers.

with AP