Vanessa Bryant, 38, has spoken out after the death of George Floyd. Sharing an image of her late husband Kobe Bryant wearing an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt — referencing the 2014 death of Eric Garner — Vanessa shared an inspiring message via her Instagram on Sinday, May 31. “My husband wore this shirt years ago and yet here we are again,” Vanessa began her caption, including a heartbroken emoji and the hashtag “#ICANTBREATHE.”
In the image, Kobe wears the black t-shirt and yellow Lakers shorts as he stands on the court during a game against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center in Dec. 2014. “Life is so fragile. Life is so unpredictable. Life is too short,” the mom of four continued in her powerful message, urging her followers to educate themselves. “Let’s share and embrace the beautiful qualities and similarities we all share as people. Drive out hate. Teach respect and love for all at home and school,” she wrote.
“Spread LOVE. Fight for change- register to VOTE. Do not use innocent lives lost as an excuse to loot. BE AN EXAMPLE OF THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE,” she added, concluding with the hashtag “#BLACKLIVESMATTER” and a red heart emoji. Her millions of followers applauded the strong message and quickly began re-sharing the image of Kobe. One follower, however, prompted Vanessa to respond directly.
“Respect all you say and do but all lives matter,” the user commented. Vanessa agreed, however, took the time to explain why the post was disrespectful. “All lives do matter. Respectfully, I must say that when someone says #alllivesmatter when someone says #blacklivesmatter is like that all homes matter when 1 particular home in the neighborhood is being affected and burning down,” she wrote. “Wouldn’t we run and help our fellow neighbour? See the difference? All love,” she added.
Vanessa joins a growing list of celebrities and public figures who have spoken out against racial inequality and police brutality following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, who was an unarmed Black man.