Kobe Bryant‘s impact extended well beyond the world of basketball.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Football Club played their first home game at Banc of California Stadium since the tragic death of the NBA star and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, which also killed seven other passengers.
At the soccer match, the athletes and spectators observed a larger-than-life tribute to Kobe and Gianna in the form of a giant banner that was erected behind one of the goals.
“Kobe & Gianna Forever,” read the mural, which showed an artistic image of the father and daughter smiling together in the purple and yellow colors of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe’s basketball team.
“Mamba forever. 💜💛,” the LAFC wrote on Twitter, sharing a photo of the mural.
Earlier this month, Woods, 44, opened up about how he is coping with the tragedy, telling reporters that it’s hard to express the loss’ affect on him.
“It’s hard to put into words what transpired and the fact that it’s a reality,” Woods said at the time. “Part of me thinks that it’s not real.”
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In their first home game following Kobe’s death, the Lakers squad paid tribute to the legend in an emotional night at the Staples Center.
The arena was transformed into a sea of gold as each seat in the stadium was covered with either Bryant’s No. 8 or No. 24 jersey, which the thousands of fans donned to honor the fallen NBA star.
“As I look around this arena, we’re all grieving, we’re all hurt, we’re all heartbroken and when we’re going through things like this, the best thing you can do is lean on the shoulders of your family,” James, 35, said at the time.
He added: “Now, I’ve heard about Laker Nation before I got here last year, about how much of a family it is and that is absolutely what I’ve seen this week. Not only from the players, the coaching staff and the organization, but from everybody. Everybody that’s here, this is truly, truly a family.”