Kobe Bryant was remembered ahead of the Super Bowl game on Sunday (02.02.20).
Players from the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs came together along the 24-yard line for a moment of silence at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami for the 41-year-old basketball legend and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who were among nine people who lost their lives last month, when his private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California.
The crowds were then heard chanting: “Kobe!”
The league also paid tribute to Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Chris Doleman, who died last week at the age of 58 after suffering with brain cancer.
NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, had confirmed the news in his annual pre-Super Bowl press conference that they would be honoring both of of the late sportsmen.
In his conference, Roger said: “I don’t think just Los Angeles is mourning the loss of Kobe Bryant. Kobe was a special person. I did have the opportunity to meet him. He obviously brought a lot to our world and I think all of us not only feel for the tragic events to his family but as well as everyone else who was a passenger on that helicopter. It’s hard to understand and it’s hard to process.
“We as a league have been very responsive and I think respectful of somebody who contributed so much to sports. We also lost one of our own legends last night, Chris Doleman, who I personally was very fond of and meant a great deal to me and the league. I think both of those individuals will be seen on Sunday in some fashion in a respectful way.”
The sporting spectacle comes after the Grammys paid tribute to Kobe with a song from Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men.
Organizers of the upcoming Oscars – which will take place on February 9 – also confirmed they will feature a tribute to the star, who won an Academy Award in 2018 for his short film ‘Dear Basketball’.