Kobe Bryant’s death appeared to have a profound effect on Colin Kaepernick – who received support from the Los Angeles Lakers legend when he decided to protest during the National Anthem over three years ago.
Kaepernick tweeted his condolences to the Bryant family and to the others who died in the helicopter crash in California earlier Sunday which killed Bryant, his daughter and as many as seven other people.
“I will remember Kobe as a basketball legend,a father& a man. Watching him&Gigi share their relationship with us is something I won’t ever forget. My heart aches for his wife, children& family. I hope the waves of love being sent to his family can ease some of the pain they feel,” Kaepernick wrote.
Bryant was one of Kaepernick’s biggest supporters and they appeared to strike up a friendly relationship over the course of several years.
The two were spotted in the player box at the U.S. Open last August while they watched Naomi Osaka.
The NBA star told ESPN in February 2018 that what Kaepernick was doing “is the epitome of doing what he believes is right.”
“I think what Colin Kaepernick stood for is the epitome of doing what he believes is right,” he said. “Now, things have been taken out of context, misconstrued and they try to bend it this way, that way and missing the point of what it is the message he was getting across. I think having the bravery to do that is something we should all stand for.”