The day after the beautiful celebration of life for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who died with seven others in a tragic helicopter crash in January, quarterback Tom Brady tweeted an emotional statement about why Bryant’s death has affected him so much.
For Brady, the tragedy has resulted in a lot of tears, but he’s also learned a lot. He believes that Bryant lived his life off the court the same way he lived it on the court, not hiding “from the good or the bad, from the wins or the losses… the joy and despair, the happiness and the pain.” That zeal for life enabled him to accomplish a lot in his sadly shortened “second chapter,” but Brady also believes that Bryant had some singular skills: “He had the energy to recognize in others what they could not recognize in themselves.”
Brady thinks that Bryant’s unique personality and ability to connect with others is what he — and the world — will miss most.
“I think that’s why I will miss him most. Because we all know the world needs more of that leadership and positivity. We recognize that he was doing the work that others don’t want to or simply can’t do. The world we live in is full of people telling kids and adults ‘you can’t,’ ‘you shouldn’t,’ ‘you won’t’ or ‘you never will.’ The world we live in is teaching EVERYONE to fear, to worry, to shame or to give up. And that’s the opposite of what Kobe stood for. That’s what made Kobe a real superhero. He spoke about mentality with such conviction, about the idea that if you truly believed in something you could achieve it … you could overcome the obstacles in your path. And not just that, he walked the walk and did the work. He pushed others to find the same confidence. He was the real life superhero our world needs.
“That’s what we will all miss. That’s why we hurt. Because we know that he was always fighting against the norm. He was doing more then his share. Now who is going to do the work that is still here to be done? Who is going to fight and break the norms with love and joy and inspiration? Who is going to discard fear, and doubt, and hate? Who is going to carry the load and be the superhero that he was? The answer is simple to me, ALL OF US. Decide to make the change in yourself. If there is anything I have learned and been inspired by through this tragic event, it is this, SEIZE THE DAY. That’s what Kobe always did, and that’s what he wanted for us too.”
To Brady, no one person can replace Kobe. He wants everyone to pick up where Kobe left off and “seize the day.”
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