The entire basketball world mourned on January 26th, 2020, when Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, were among 7 other victims of a helicopter crash in Southern California.
Kobe was a brilliant man, who believe in working hard, staying motivated, and giving your all in whatever you did. Of course, as a husband and father of four beautiful young daughters, Bryant poured himself into his family more than anything.
Upon his death, it seemed like the entire world stopped for a moment to mourn and while some have moved on, others will never truly be the same.
This is obviously the case for Vanessa Bryant, who lost her husband and daughter in the crash that day. And while the NBA community's support for her and her family was great at first, Vanessa's life these past few months has turned into a border-line media circus as news and reports have kept a close spotlight on her while she continues to cope with her losses.
Most recently, for example, Vanessa found herself in the headlines for supposedly cutting her mother off financially. Bryant had to defend her actions but, of course, it didn't stop the reports from surfacing.
True or not, the folks can't stop talking about the Bryants, and many have made it their own personal business to keep up with and question the happenings of the family.
Comments like these have been surfacing all over the internet, only overshadowed by more reports and rumors about what the NBA widow might or might not be doing.
This is the dark side of the media, the dark side of our internet-driven culture. And, unfortunately, it has only become more prevalent with the passing of time.
Despite having it only been months since the passing of two very important loved ones, people just can't leave Vanessa alone. The media have been following her, people have been talking about her, and her reputation takes repeated hits from those who have unfairly criticized her.
Some decent-minded folks have called for that to change, and are practically pleading with the public to allow the Bryants some privacy in this difficult period.
It's easy to get caught up in somebody else's business, especially when that someone has ties to a legend and icon like Kobe Bryant. But how far are we willing to go in the search of truth? Where do we draw the line?
What Vanessa and her family are doing now is their business, and they should be allowed the freedom to grieve and live their lives without having to worry about what people will say about them next. Death and family are more important than basketball, and respecting the boundaries of people who have dealt with tragedy should come before trying to uncover whatever scandal may be unfolding in their lives.
It's time to leave Vanessa alone, but perhaps there's a bigger message here, too.
It's time to start putting people before gossip and when someone is hurting or grieving, it's even more of a reason to avoid getting involved in their business.