Though 2020 has felt like the longest year ever, it wasn’t long ago that the world lost basketball superstar and father Kobe Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant. In a year that’s been filled with so many changes and upheavals, people are still upset that Kobe – a sports star, was left out of this weekend’s MTV Video Music Awards “In Memoriam” tributes.
Kobe Braynt was laid to rest February 24th, 2020 in Los Angeles. The service itself was a massive affair, with over 20,000 mourners in attendance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Numerous luminaries showed up, including but not limited to Michael Jordan, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Michael Phelps and even Jennifer Lopez.
Also celebrated was his daughter, Gianna. On what would have been Gigi’s 14th birthday, her mother posted a loving caption under a colorful photo of her daughter, with a bright bold smile surrounded by beautiful colors and patterns. The caption was heartbreaking, reminding us all that not only did Bryant lose her husband – she also lost a child.
“Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever. I miss you so much everyday. I wish I could wake up and have you here with me. I miss your smile, your hugs and your giggles. I miss EVERYTHING about YOU, Gigi. I LOVE YOU so much!!!!!!!”
The losses have been mounting up this year, and the loss of the Bryant’s was an acute one that is still reverberating. Just this past weekend, the world lost Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who apparently was suffering from colon cancer. The beloved star was just 43 years old and the outsize impact of the characters he portrayed on screen left a hole in the world, right as the Video Music Awards were about to air.
As is tradition with many major award shows, this year’s VMA’s featured an “In Memoriam” section that was read aloud by musician Travis Barker. This year’s pandemic-friendly awards aired on Sunday (August 30), with a new format that was meant to enhance the fact that the awards were produced differently due to COVID-19.
The pandemic alone has forced massive shifts in the entertainment industry overnight but the Keke Palmer hosted VMA’s seemed to have been able to shift in the last minute to a production format that would be viable in order for the show to go on. Last minute changes aside, it was the oversight of Kobe Bryant being left out that got people upset – even as the VMA’s added a last-minute tribute to Chadwick Boseman.
In fact, Chadwick Boseman got a special mention at the top of the show, in addition to the “In Memoriam” segment, and fans noticed. “They mentioned #ChadwickBoseman at the beginning of the #VMAs #VMA #VMAStanCam #VMAs2020 but they didn’t mention #KobeBryant in the memoriam segment.”
Even with Kobe’s status as an Academy Award winner for his 2018 animated short “Dear Basketball,” he didn’t manage to make the segment. “@MTV @vmas How DARE you guys Not pay tribute to KOBE BRYANT!!!! He is an Academy Award winner and Legend!!! And you choose to leave him out of your 2020 tribute! #BoycottVMAs #VMAs,” wrote one fan on Twitter.
Though it may have not been included in this music video award show, the world is no doubt still mourning the loss of the Black Mamba.
As Lebron James said, “To lose the Black Panther and the Black Mamba in the same year, can all agree that 2020 is the s—tiest year — in my 35 years.”
Lakers’ LeBron James w/ tribute to Chadwick Boseman: “It actually felt like we had our black superhero and nobody could touch us. To lose that, it’s sad in our community. To lose Black Panther & Black Mamba in the same year — 2020 is the sh**tiest year.” pic.twitter.com/GiGbPA80Gp— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) August 30, 2020