*Kobe Bryant‘s parents, Joe and Pamela Bryant, were seen sitting next to Kobe’s two sisters, Sharia and Shaya, at the “Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant” on Monday at Staples Center.
Joe and Pam were seated in the same row as Kobe’s wife Vanessa and her three daughters — Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 7-month-old Capri.
When Vanessa delivered the eulogy for her late husband and 13-year-old daughter, fans were quick to notice that she failed to acknowledge the grieving parents.
Matter fact, Kobe’s parents reportedly received no mention throughout the entire ceremony, and fans took to social media to express their fury over that.
#DISAPPOINTED that Kobe’s #Parents were #NEVER #Acknowledged by his #wife.
I #understand they had #private ceremony. I understand they weren’t speaking or in good terms.
#Maybe is a #culture thing but #parents should always be acknowledged #first as a form of #respect. Got dammit it won’t be #Kobe without #God and his #parents.
How do all the moms and dad feel ?? Maybe I am wrong but I will keep #praying for them for the sake of her #child and #grandchildren
#Please stop saying is not #our Business. We #grew up with #KobrBryant. We are all cousins to Kobe. I cried everyday. I lost a younger brother, #Dammit
As noted by PEOPLE, Kobe was often publicly vocal about his tumultuous relationship with his parents, and many fans have addressed this while defending Vanessa for not acknowledging Pam and Joe.
One commenter responded to Clark’s Facebook post: “I don’t know what was going on in the house but if the parents were toxic to her marriage and her husband, why should she be fake and honor them? This was about her husband not his parents. BTW my parents are amazing to me and my husband, I just know not everyone is blessed with great parents.
Another Vanessa supporter added: “Why do you want the wife to pretend just coz the husband is dead? Life is how you live, not when you are dead. If the parents weren’t in good terms with the son while he was still alive was death supposed to change that fact? Why do humans value dead bodies unlike when a person is still alive..STOP THIS HYPOCRISY!!
A third wrote: “Whewww some people are doing the most!!! The purpose was to memorialize her HUSBAND and DAUGHTER, which is what she did. She didn’t say one thing bad about any of his family members, and showed no disrespect towards them… this was not about them ♀️♀️ Could she have acknowledged them? Absolutely. But the fact that she didn’t doesn’t make her a bad or disrespectful person. People will find anything to complain about smh.”
And yet another came to Vanessa and Kobe’s defense, writing: “When someone gets married the family they create becomes the most important family they have. The husband, wife and children. If Kobe did not have his parents involved in his life regularly it had to be for a reason he chose due to whatever may or my not have been animosity towards his wife. Racism and hate works in more ways than one and people can’t talk about wanting fairness but making ignorant comments about this man’s wife. Noone knows what the real reason is and remember she lost her husband AND HER DAUGHTER! If his parents decide they want to speak after they have their time of mourning then God bless them but to bring up.this subject honestly is petty on more levels than one.
But this user wasn’t as kind, stating: “If there was any toxicity between them, we now know where it came from because whatever happened prior to his death…..a real woman would squash it and embrace his mother. She has three daughters left and KARMA KNOWS HER ADDRESS. THINGS HAVE A WAY OF COMING BACK AT YA. HUG HIS MOTHER AND GIVE HER A KISS FOR KOBE’S sake”
Another said: “I know they had private services probably a few services. Maybe it’s just me, but if I have any parts of the planning I would offer them the opportunity to be included. I know I don’t have to but that would be my choice regardless of the terms he and his Parents were on.”
Family friend and former coach, Wayne Slappy, previously told the Daily Mail shortly after the fatal helicopter crash that Bryant and his father had made amends and were seen hugging at an event.
“I just remember being with him up at his camp in Santa Barbara and seeing him hug his dad,” Slappy, told the outlet. “You know how they loved each other from how they looked at each other, how they smiled.”
“His family are going to miss him more than you can begin to imagine,” Slappy added.