An overwhelming number of social media users are slamming the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards for not including Kobe Bryant in the show’s “In Memoriam” segment.
On Sunday night, the ceremony paid tribute to actors including Chadwick Boseman and Naya Rivera, as well as musicians such as Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke, all of whom passed away this year.
However, the segment failed to mention the Los Angeles Lakers player and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna — both of whom lost their lives in a tragic January 26 helicopter crash.
When fans caught wind, they immediately voiced their disapproval on Twitter.
“Who at the #VMAs forgot to include Kobe Bryant in the In Memoriam section?!? You added Naya and Chadwick, you weren’t sticking to just music,” one social media user wrote.
“How DARE you guys Not pay tribute to KOBE BRYANT!!!! He is an Academy Award winner and Legend!!! And you choose to leave him out of your 2020 tribute!” a commenter said.
“Can’t believe Kobe Bryant was missing from the memoriam segment at the VMAs! WHAT?! #KobeBryant,” another added.
Despite this, the legendary basketball player was honored by rapper DaBaby, who wore a Lakers hat and the team’s colors during his VMAs performance.
On Sunday, August 23, what would have been Bryant’s 42nd birthday, wife Vanessa Bryant wrote her late husband a touching message honoring him and their late daughter, whose nickname was “Gigi.”
“Thank YOU for everything. I know my Gigi is celebrating you like she always has on our special days,” Vanessa said on her Instagram page. “I miss my thoughtful princess so much! [Their daughters together] Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri and I wish you a happy birthday my love. I love you for now, forever and for always.”
Kobe and Vanessa’s eldest daughter, Natalia, 17, also wrote a heartfelt Instagram post calling her father “the best movie buddy I could have ever asked for.”
“Happy Bithday Dad. I miss your smile, laugh and big bear hugs. Happy Birthday to the best movie buddy I could have ever asked for,” she wrote over a throwback photo of her and her dad. “I will always remember our late night drives to the movie theater with the windows rolled down and listening to our favorite songs. I love you forever and always. Always, Slim.”
The next day, on August 24, Orange County celebrated “Kobe Bryant Day,” as Bryant’s jersey numbers for the Lakers were “8” and “24.”