In response to the tragic death of George Floyd last week, thousands of people across the United States have taken to the streets to protest against police brutality and systematic racism.
While the majority of the protests have been peaceful, some unfortunately turned violent. That was evident in Los Angeles last Saturday, prompting Mayor Eric Garcetti to issue a curfew and California Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency.
The rioting led to clashes with police, vandalism and the destruction of local businesses. And while these acts have continued in recent days, murals of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, and his daughter, Gianna, were left untouched.
Vanessa Bryant recently shared photos of the undamaged murals on her Instagram account, via ESPN L.A.:
Photos of Kobe and Gigi murals in LA undamaged (via Vanessa Bryant/IG) pic.twitter.com/Z7KfTzRIza
— ESPN Los Angeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) June 2, 2020
That Bryant’s murals are still in pristine condition, even amid the civil unrest taking place, speaks volumes about how beloved he is in L.A. It has been over four months since Bryant’s untimely death, and while his loss is still felt across the community, the impact he left on millions of people will forever be evident.
In addition to the murals, Vanessa also posted a photo of Kobe wearing an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt from the 2014 NBA season, which was in support of Eric Garner — another African-American male who died while in police custody.
The Lakers recently issued a statement on the current issues plaguing the United States. “We condemn racism, bigotry, violence and prejudice in all its forms,” the team said.
“Everyone has the right to live free from fear and to be treated with dignity and respect. We hear the pain of our Black community and we will not stay silent.”
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and several other Lakers players also banded together through posts on social media.