Kobe and Gianna Bryant, along with seven others were on their way to the Mamba Academy when their helicopter flew into fog and crashed. Now, the academy is dropping Mamba from its name.
It was announced that Mamba Academy will drop the ‘Mamba’ and will just be called Sports Academy from now own. Originally, there was a social media post that said it was out of respect for the late NBA baller.
‘Our beliefs and thoughts are Kobe is one of one. ‘Mamba’ is one of one. And with that as we carry on as The Sports Academy, it’s more appropriate to put Kobe in another Hall of Fame, if you will, and to really respect a legacy that is really unrivaled, frankly, and let that live on its own. We will continue to do the work we do.’
Needless to say, social media users found the change to be disrespectful.
‘Totally unfollowing. Why would you change the name?! You would think you would keep the name in his honor. How sad,’ wrote one.
‘Y’all lying to the public. Changing the name wasn’t for ‘respect,’ that was strictly a business move…respect his name!’ added another.
Our Statement. pic.twitter.com/NfJ2JZTyvJ
— Sports Academy (@sportsxacademy) May 12, 2020
‘Disgusting, disgraceful, shame on you,’ said one follower.
The criticism got so bad that the athletic association had to turn the comments off under the announcement.
It turns out that Kobe’s estate was the one that made the request for the name change.
TMZ reported that the establishment cleared up the confusion with a statement that read: ‘The changing of the name from Mamba Sports Academy to Sports Academy, the original name from 2016, is not a decision we came to lightly or on our own. It was a mutual agreement made in accordance with the wishes of his estate. Thank you for respecting that decision in these turbulent times.’
Now, it’s clear that Vanessa Bryant chose to request the name change as she has every right to do so.