In the wake of someone’s death, it can be hard to navigate the appropriate responses. While making jokes is a way that some people try to make sense of death, the way a joke is executed can feel insensitive to others. While the world still copes with the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, many continue to express their sadness, while others use humour to try to lighten the heaviness of it all. One such person was Access Hollywood host, Mario Lopez, who shared a meme on Instagram of Kobe that some thought was “tasteless.”
In the meme, Kobe wears a facial expression to indicate how unimpressed he is, likely as a reaction to a ridiculous call during a game. The meme reads, “Kobe probably in heaven looking down at us like, ‘You over there crying but you need to be in the gym puttin in work.’” Mario shared the photo with the caption, “Time to grind and put in that work. Eternally inspired… #MambaMentality.”
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The post got some mixed reactions, some insisting that it was “too soon” while others agreed with the sentiment that Kobe would want everyone to work hard instead of mourning him. One fan commented, “Its [sic] not the time to joke around,” to which another user responded, “What are we gonna do? Sit here and mourn forever? Hard work is what this man was all about. People are inspired by his mentality which is why this was posted.” It’s true that, based on Kobe’s famous “Mamba Mentality” motto, he’d likely agree with the joke, but another user pointed out that it’s still “probably too early since “his family aren’t finding any humour in this yet or ever.”
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Mario isn’t the only person who has faced backlash recently for sharing a meme about Kobe. On Friday, Young Thug posted a photoshopped image on Instagram that showed Jesus and Kobe going head to head on the court. Jesus says to Kobe, “Oh you thought **** was sweet up here,” as if and Thugger captioned the post, “Just a little smile for your all?,” although not everyone was smiling. Comedian Ari Shaffir was also blasted for tweeting that Kobe should have died 23 years ago when he was accused of rape, later explaining that he always makes light of celebrity deaths in order to get a reaction.
What do you think about this Kobe meme?