A few days after Kobe Bryant’s sudden and tragic death in January 2020, a quote ostensibly uttered by the NBA legend circulated on social media, including via the Facebook page of the liberal site Occupy Democrats.
This was a genuine quote from Bryant. The basketball star posted this message to his Twitter account in September 2017, an apparent reference to U.S. President Donald Trump whose campaign slogan was “Make America Great Again.”
At the time, Trump was calling on NFL team owners to fire any players who protested during the National Anthem. The commander-in-chief had also just disinvited the Golden State Warriors basketball team from visiting the White House after star player Stephen Curry said he was not interested in attending the traditional event:
While Bryant did not specifically name Trump in his tweet, he commented amid a controversy involving the current occupant of the White House, and he invoked Trump’s campaign slogan. About a month after posting this message, Bryant was asked during a news conference if he would attend an event at Trump’s White House. Bryant responded: “I wouldn’t go. Simple. No.”