Jaguars React With the Rest of the Sports World to Kobe Bryant’s Passing

John Shipley

Sunday was a shocking and tragic day in the sports world after NBA legend Kobe Bryant died as a result of a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. To make the tragedy even more gut-wrenching, Bryant's 13-year old daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others, including Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their 13-year-old daughter, Alyssa, also died in the crash. 

The devastating crash, which was reported by TMZ shortly before the Pro Bowl kicked off, created an outpour of reactions from athletes, coaches, and others around the globe. Bryant, 41, was such an icon during his career with the Los Angeles Lakers that he impacted entire generations. Those who idolized Bryant included current Jaguars players, who mourned the death of a sports hero along with the much of the rest of the world.

"I am honored to have had the pleasure of meeting Kobe. I will forever be inspired by the way he lived his life! He was what every athlete strives to be! Prayers up to his family!" Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell said on social media. Campbell also took a knee on the field during a moment of silence for Bryant during the Pro Bowl, showing his respect for the NBA legend. 

Jaguars senior vice president of football administration and technology Tony Khan, son of team owner Shad Khan, also paid his respects to Bryant and his daughter Sunday, urging the public to donate to causes the Bryant family held dear.

"RIP Kobe & Gianna Bryant. Whether or not you were a fan of Kobe or Lakers , please consider donating to a cause that was important to Kobe and Gianna: development of women’s basketball programs, at any level, youth to professional. It would be a nice way to honor their memories," Khan tweeted. 

At exactly 8:24 p.m., the Jaguars' official team twitter account tweeted their rememberance to Bryant, honoring him and his famed 8 and 24 jersey numbers. 

Wide receiver DJ Chark, who also found out about Bryant's death at the Pro Bowl, took to twitter following the game to share his thoughts on Bryant's passing.

Other Jaguars' players, such as Josh Dobbs, Gardner Minshew II, Leonard Fournette, Najee Goode, Will Richardson, Jawaan Taylor, and others also mourned Bryant via social media throughout the day. 

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