The death of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others has been felt not just in the world of basketball, but everywhere. So it was only natural that tributes to the Los Angeles Lakers legend would appear at Super Bowl LIV.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders revealed through Twitter on Saturday that he will take the field in Miami wearing a custom pair of cleats dedicated to Bryant. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it is the first known tribute to Bryant that will appear at the Super Bowl.
The cleats, colored with the Niners’ scarlet and gold, include art of Bryant, his Nos. 8 and 24 and “Rest in Peace” written along the side.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to win. Whether it’s sitting on the bench waiving a towel. Handing out cups of water to my teammates or hitting the game winning shot.” - 🖤 Mamba pic.twitter.com/p1BowN840D— Emmanuel Sanders (@ESanders_10) February 1, 2020
Other players will almost certainly join Sanders in honoring Bryant on the field. You would imagine the NFL will also find some way to acknowledge the tragedy during pre-game ceremonies.
The shockwaves of Bryant’s death have reached across the sports world, from his favorite Italian soccer club to his enormous fanbase in China. The emotions in the fallout reached their peak Friday, when the Lakers paid an incredible tribute to Bryant before their first game since his death on Sunday.
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