On January 26th, 2020, basketball player Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter died in a fiery helicopter crash in California. What the media didn’t tell you was there were seven other people on the same helicopter, yet there was hardly any mention of them…
I usually write about fun, silly, or off the wall topics because it’s an escape from the stupid world we live in, but the Kobe Bryant deal brought out a little anger, revitalizing the editorial writer in me.
The news story about Bryant dominated headlines on every TV and radio station, talk show and website, as well as social media. Everyone had condolences for Bryant and comments about what a horrible loss it was. So many people were miserably distraught over his death.
Yes, it was tragic. And it was also tragic his 13 year old daughter died, but what I found disrespectful was that seven other people were on board, and all of them died, yet there was barely mention of who these people were.
Did there lives matter less than Bryant?
I get that Bryant was a basketball star, but how much should that really matter?
I get this may come off as insensitive, but what society has defined as “important” has become disturbing to the point of turning my stomach. The guy bounced a ball for a living, and let’s not forget he was also a sex offender (think back to 2003), but I guess that didn’t matter because he was famous, right?
As I said, it was a tragic situation for all involved, but blasting headlines non-stop about only Bryant and his daughter is a bit over done. The other victims had families and friends too. Their lives were important too. While the helicopter crash may have been newsworthy, the relevance of a basketball player being involved should be reserved for the sports section. Any other crash would be a passing story.
Why? Because the priorities of society are very mixed up. The people we look up as “heroes” and role models need to be redefined. As such, I give you these examples:
Do you know how many US military soldiers were killed in action so far in 2020?
The answer is 3. Do you know anything about them or how they died?
Do you know how many US police officers died on the job as of 1/26/2020?
The answer is 11. Tell the parentless children of these individuals that a basketball player is more important than how these brave men and women gave their lives in service to their communities.
Do you know how many firefighters died in the US in 2020?
8. Did you ever hear anything about any of these people? They were doing things of great importance for society, but the news of their deaths may have gotten only a glimmer of headline, only to become a back page story soon after. This is pretty sad.
Do you know what other news happened on January 26th, 2020?
Probably not, because it was pushed aside to talk about a basketball player.
Every year hereafter, the news will undoubtedly bring up a mention of, “On this date in 2020, Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash”, while forgetting all the other people who died in the crash, and all the other things that happened on this date (which by the way, a military helicopter crashed on this day in 2005, killing 30 Marines and a Navy medic. Did you know that?).
Bryant’s life mattered too, but it’s truly sad we are so shallow as a society that we devote so much time and attention to sports figures and other celebrities, yet so little to those who do so much more. Members of the military, law enforcement and fire service would literally give their lives for a total stranger (and have). Bryant probably wouldn’t have peed on you if you were on fire, let alone sacrifice his life for yours, yet he is being hailed as a such a great loss to society.
Yes, athletes have a role in society, but our lives shouldn’t revolve around them as if they were gods. At the very least, show some respect and honor ALL those who were killed in the crash, not just the man who played basketball.
For the record, here are the names of the others killed in the crash:
When the news mentions how sad it was that we lost Kobe on January 26th, remember there are many other families mourning also. Keep them in your thoughts too.
~ Marty ~
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