While the world was mourning the death of Kobe Bryant this week, comedian Ari Shaffir said the US basketball star’s passing came “23 years too late”.
Hours after Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday, Ari tweeted about the star’s 2003 sexual assault case.
“Kobe Bryant died 23 years too late today. He got away with rape because all the Hollywood liberals who attack comedy enjoy rooting for the Lakers more than they dislike rape. Big ups to the hero who forgot to gas up his chopper. I hate the Lakers. What a great day! #F**kthelakers,” he wrote.
He then posted an Instagram Story, seemingly celebrating Kobe’s death
Kobe was accused of sexual assault by a 19-year-old woman employed by a Colorado hotel.
According to The Washington Post, he was charged with sexual assault and false imprisonment, but the charges were dropped after the woman declined to testify.
At the time Kobe issued a statement explaining that he “truly believed the encounter was consensual, I recognise now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did.”
Ari returned to social media, claiming he had been hacked, but social media users didn’t believe it and flooded TLs with messages slamming the comedian.
The outcry seemingly led to the star cancelling upcoming shows after calls to protest at them.
Imagine thinking this is the comedy to make. I have a Dark sense of humor but his daughters were in that crash also. I hope you get canned and never work again. I for one will never watch anything with you involved and looks like many more will also
— James Crouch (@JMOC89) January 26, 2020
@joerogan please never let Ari Shaffir back on your podcast. The shit he’s spouting about Kobe deserves action.
— Warrior Poet (@MohlerPoet) January 27, 2020
A lot of comics like 2 make light of tragedy, I am a comedians I get it …but there were 2 promising young ladies who perished. They didnt even get to see half of their lives … so, if this is the tragedy you want to make statement on you’re a clown – that includes @AriShaffir
— Yamaneika Saunders (@yamaneika) January 27, 2020
— Chris Swanson (@swanson2093) January 28, 2020
Meanwhile, SA celebs, including Penny Lebyane, have added their signatures to a petition asking for the National Basketball Association (NBA) to change its logo in tribute to Kobe.
— PennyLebyane💚AppRadioMama (@PennyLebyane) January 28, 2020
Local radio host Wilson B Nkosi also paid tribute to Kobe, telling Metro FM’s Robert Marawa that he saw the basketball star as a big brother.
He also spoke about the impact Kobe had on the game.
A truly heartfelt tribute from “WBN” Mr Wilson B Nkosi, a Radio Legend and a Basketball aficionado and an avid admirer of the late @kobebryant…..Thank u for ur time Sir!!!🙏🏾🙏🏾 #RIPKobeByant 🏀🏀#MSW pic.twitter.com/gbJL5tkUkx
— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) January 27, 2020