Bryant made it clear he did not mean to shame or embarrass the girl not pictured in the photo.
Kobe Bryant took to social media on Wednesday to clarify the comments he made in a caption featuring his daughter’s youth basketball team on Instagram.
Bryant, 41, took some heat from social media users after he appeared to call out one of the players on his daughter’s AAU team, the Mambas, for missing a game two years ago in order to go to a dance recital.
“Here’s our fourth place ‘winners’ picture lol six of the kids in the picture stayed with me and worked every single day to get better and continue to work to this day,” he captioned the shot. “The 7th player (not in pic) missed this game for a dance recital so that should tell you where her focus was at this time.”
The former Laker defended his comments, claiming that the intention behind the post was not to shame or embarrass the child, but to explain why she was not pictured in the team’s fourth place photo.
“Sorry if it came across as a slight, trust me it wasn’t. I was just giving the reason for her not being in the pic. They chose not to smile for the pic I actually followed their lead. Our team has become family and this includes the 7th player.
“Doing a dance to miss the game isn’t a bad thing,” he continued. “That’s not what I was saying. I was just giving context as to why she wasn’t in the picture. All my girls play/played diff sports. It’s all good and For the record I followed their lead on not smiling. They HATED those trophies.”
Bryant later added to the caption, including the clarification “meaning she enjoyed dance more than ball which is fine.”