The wife of late NBA legend Kobe Bryant has used a poignant image of him from 2014 to speak out against the death of George Floyd.
Vanessa Bryant urged people to love all and remember that life is short and unpredictable in an Instagram post featuring her late husband.
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Vanessa shared a photo of Bryant in a black “I can’t breathe” T-shirt, noting that though he wore it years ago it is unfortunately still relevant now.
She shared the photo and message as protests escalate around the country in reaction to the death of Floyd, who died last week in Minneapolis while in police custody.
“My husband wore this shirt years ago and yet here we are again. #ICANTBREATHE," Vanessa Bryant wrote.
“Life is so fragile. Life is so unpredictable. Life is too short. Let’s share and embrace the beautiful qualities and similarities we share as people. Drive out hate. Teach respect and love for all at home and school.
“Spread LOVE. Fight for change — register to VOTE. Do not use innocent lives lost as an excuse to loot. BE AN EXAMPLE OF THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE. #BLACKLIVESMATTER.”
She shared a second post urging people to fix it in their hearts and homes, so it would spread to the world.
Athletes speak out over George Floyd death
The photo of Bryant is from December 2014 when Bryant arranged for the team to wear the T-shirts during warmups.
It was in support of Eric Garner, an African-American who died while being arrested in New York. He was put in a chokehold.
Bryant said it was a justice issue. Via the Los Angeles Times in 2014:
“I think it’s us supporting that movement and supporting each other,” Bryant said at the time.
“The beauty of our country lies in its democracy. I think if we ever lose the courage to be able to speak up for the things that we believe in, I think we really lose the value that our country stands for.”
Athletes have spoken out all week about the Floyd case. Retired NBA swingman Stephen Jackson was longtime friends with Floyd and gave an emotional interview to NBC’s “Today Show.”
Stephen Jackson with just about the most powerful words I’ve ever heard pic.twitter.com/7guc6O4T6W— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) May 29, 2020
Retired NBA player Royce White led a peaceful protest down the Minnesota interstate and Celtics star Jaylen Brown led his own after driving home to his native Atlanta.