California Lawmaker Campaigns To Make August 24 'Kobe Bryant Day'

Kobe Bryant

Foto: Getty Images

California lawmaker Michelle Steel has launched a congressional campaign to make August 24 "Kobe Bryant Day." In a brief statement, Steel said that she is motivated to launch the campaign because Bryant encouraged "the next generation to dream big" as he did.

"Kobe Bryant used his platform to inspire millions and help kids around the world achieve success and strive for greatness,” Steel said.

"On Aug. 24 we should remember Kobe, celebrate his life and encourage the next generation to dream big just like Kobe did.”

Bryant built a strong connection to the state of California during his 20-year NBA career. Most notably, the Philadelphia native won five NBA titles and an MVP trophy with the Los Angeles Lakers. He also became a force in Hollywood and won an Academy Award in 2018. Above all else, he helped usher in a new generation of basketball players through the Mamba Sports Academy.

After Bryant died in early 2020, Orange County, California officials and Steel moved to make August 24 "Kobe Bryant Day" within the county. It was the first time that a county had named a day after the NBA legend.

“Kobe Bryant’s life, like each one of us who ever lived, presents moments to celebrate and to condemn,” Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner said.

“Kobe, like all of us, faced challenges, challenges of his own making and challenges thrown at him by life, that he overcame. Today, we celebrate the effort in overcoming those challenges.”

While many lawmakers have honored the life of Kobe Bryant, some raised concerns about naming a day after the NBA legend due to his complicated legacy. Most notably, some have pointed out that Bryant was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Colorado following the 2003 NBA season. Bryant was not convicted in criminal court, but he did reach a settlement with his accuser and he issued an apology.

Despite the allegations levied against him, Steel feels confident that she can push through with her campaign to make August 24 "Kobe Bryant Day."

“The positive contributions to our community and to our world by Kobe Bryant deserve to be honored and celebrated," Steel said when asked if she felt Bryant's 2003 sexual assault case would slow down her campaign.

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