Nike Has Removed Kobe Bryant Merchandise From Its Website | 22 Words

Yesterday, the world was left devastated by the heartbreaking news that legendary NBA player, Kobe Bryant, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning - he was just forty-one-years-old.

Bryant's daughter, Gianna, was also on board the helicopter with her father and died in the crash along with 7 other victims.

Families have been left distraught and friends and fans all around the world have been paying tribute to the lives lost.

But it has emerged that Nike has removed all Kobe Bryant merchandise from its website, and the reason makes a lot of sense.

Keep scrolling to learn more...

Kobe Bryant was a legend in the world of basketball.

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The former pro basketball player won 5 NBA titles throughout his 2-decade career with the Los Angeles Lakers, cementing him as one of the greatest players of all time.

The sporting sensation joined the NBA straight out of high school...

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He was then elected by the Charlotte Hornets with the thirteenth overall pick of the 1996 NBA draft. Ultimately, he was then traded to the Lakers, in a move that truly kick-started his iconic career.

At age thirty-four, Kobe became the youngest player in NBA history to surpass the 30,000 point mark.

On April 13, 2016, Kobe played his final game where he wowed the sold-out crowd, scoring a huge sixty points - the sixth sixty-point game of his career.

Kobe is also made a name for himself off the court...

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The basketball star won an Oscar for his short film, Dear Basketball, in 2018.

But there's no denying he was a family man at heart...

The star shared 4 children with his wife, Vanessa Laine Bryant, who wed in April 2001.

But on Sunday, the world woke to tragic news...

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It had been confirmed that Kobe Bryant had tragically died in a helicopter crash on the 26th of January, 2020. The NBA star's private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, TMZ sports confirmed.

Shortly after the news broke, The city of Calabasas released a statement:

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"With great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash." "The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10 am this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt." However, we later learned that 9 individuals were killed.

Kobe was known for opting to use a helicopter for travel...

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But tragically, his private helicopter went down and a "fire broke out," TMZ reported.

The cause of the crash is currently unknown...

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But Kurt Deetz, who has flown helicopters carrying Bryant in the past, told the Los Angeles Times that weather was a more likely cause of the accident than a mechanical issue.

The adverse weather seems to be a likely explanation...

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"The likelihood of a catastrophic twin-engine failure on that aircraft - it just doesn't happen," he said.

This is utterly devastating news...

Kobe leaves behind his wife and their daughters - Natalia and Bianka, and their newborn, Capri.

Bryant's daughter, Gianna, was also on board the helicopter at the time of the crash.

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TMZ Sports reports that Gianna, aged thirteen, tragically died in the crash.

Like her dad, Gianna was a promising basketball star...

And she was set to follow in her Kobe's footsteps - on track to play in the female NBA.

Her death, alongside the 8 others, is a true loss.

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Tributes have been flooding in from all around the world, and the NBA community has been truly impacted by this devastating accident.

The NBA made a tribute to Kobe...

The New Orleans Pelicans and the Boston Celtics started their game last night by each taking twenty-four-second shot-clock violations in honor of Kobe Bryant.

Murals have been building all around the world...

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And the Staples Center in LA has been flooded with flowers, balloons, cards, and of course, Kobe Bryant merchandise.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been spotted wearing Kobe's iconic No.24 basketball shirt...

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But Nike has made the decision to remove all Kobe Bryant merchandise from their website.

The reason is harrowing...

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Despite the millions mourning Kobe and Gianna's deaths and paying their respects, there are people out there trying to profit from this terrible tragedy.

Nike is wary of these types of people...

And despite the amount of merchandise they have created in collaboration with Kobe, they decided to temporarily remove his items from sale.

Before Kobe's death, he had worked with Nike to release a pair of custom sneakers...

And as Jacques Slade notes here, Nike is currently having internal discussions about whether to move forward with the planned release of the Kobe 5 Protro “Championships" colorway on February the 7th or if they will postpone.

It is truly heartbreaking that people are profiting from this terrible accident...

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Our thoughts and condolences go out to all of the families affected by this devastating tragedy.