US comedian dragged for post about Kobe Bryant's death

Kobe Bryant died on Sunday in a helicopter crash.
Kobe Bryant died on Sunday in a helicopter crash.
Image: Xinyu Cui/Getty Images

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 acknowledged having sex with the woman and said the relationship was consensual, but later reportedly apologised to her and acknowledged she hadn’t consented.

Ari said 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.

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.

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.


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