As the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers took the field in Miami to begin the pregame festivities, the stadium took a moment of silence in honor of Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and the other seven people whose lives were lost in the fatal crash on January 26. The players stood on the 24-yard line in a nod to the number 24 that Bryant played under.
The NFL previously honored the late Lakers star on Monday, January 27, as it kicked off Super Bowl 2020 week in Miami. During the opening night celebrations, the league asked for a moment of silence for the two-time Olympic gold medalist.
After the moment had passed, fans in attendance at Marlins Park chanted, “Kobe” throughout the stadium.
The touching scene took place one day after Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna and seven other passengers, were killed when his private helicopter crashed into the hillside of Calabasas, California. The group was traveling to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, from Orange County, California, when the fatal accident occurred.
Upon hearing the news, fans, celebrities and sports franchises alike shared their deepest sympathies with the families who lost loved ones that day.
“Kobe was an extraordinary athlete who thrilled and entertained sports fans around the world for a generation,” the NFL said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the Bryant family, Kobe’s fans, his teammates, the Lakers organization and the NBA.”
The San Francisco 49ers, who are playing in Super Bowl 2020 against the Kansas City Chiefs, also shared a tribute via social media to the sports icon.
“A legend gone too soon,” the California team wrote via Twitter. “With heavy hearts we send our condolences to the Bryant Family after the tragic loss of Kobe & Gianna. Prayers for all the families who lost a loved one 🙏 #RIPMamba.”
Bryant and his daughter Gianna are survived by the former athlete’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, and the couple’s three other daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
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