It’s Tough for Kobe to Keep It All in Family
I had no idea of the pain that Kobe Bryant was going through with his parents’ decision not to attend his wedding [“Estrange Situation,” April 17]. Although his mother has changed, his father has not. My students had a hard time understanding prejudice. Most of them said, “If Kobe is happy with his wife, what is the problem?”
I agree. Brian Shaw is evidence enough with the loss of his parents that time is short. I hope that Kobe Bryant’s father will get the message that his actions are clearly wrong and his actions are hurting Kobe and his wife.
The article on Kobe Bryant’s estrangement from his father brought tears to my eyes and stayed with me throughout the day. As the communications director for the Grief Recovery Institute, I have met parents who would do anything to bring back their deceased son, if only to tell him they love him one more time. I have also learned that very little in life is as important as the ones we love.
As a mother trying to raise compassionate, confident and decent human beings I have marveled often at Kobe’s compassion, confidence and decency. No one is born that way; they are raised that way. It is obvious that Mr. and Mrs. Bryant did their job raising their son.
I hope my daughter some day will find a partner like Kobe, and I hope my son will be surrounded with friends like Kobe. And I hope, for his sake, that the elder Mr. Bryant can move forward, arms outstretched, toward his son, his daughter-in-law and his granddaughter. He will never regret it.
I find it ironic that Joe Bryant has a problem with his son marrying someone of a different ethnicity. Isn’t this the same Joe Bryant who moved his family to Italy, and openly embraced the Italian culture (of which Kobe learned the Italian language)? Isn’t this the same Joe Bryant who also supposedly named his son after his favorite Japanese restaurant?
Unless there is more to the story of Kobe’s estrangement from his family that we have not been told, it is obvious that being a former NBA player does not automatically make a father understanding and accepting; and, being a current NBA star does not automatically preclude it. Kudos to Kobe for handling a very difficult situation in a very classy manner.
The double standard used by Bill Plaschke is appalling.
In his column regarding the relationship between Kobe Bryant and his father, he entirely soft-pedaled the fact that Joe Bryant was “uncomfortable, uneasy and disappointed” that his son did not marry an African American.
If Hootie Johnson had said that he was “disappointed” that his son did not marry a Caucasian woman, what would have been Plaschke’s reaction?
Joe Bryant’s treatment of his son is outrageously selfish and incredibly hurtful to what seems like a remarkable young man in whom his parents should take great pride. Kobe was mature enough to join the NBA at 17 and certainly appears mature enough to handle the responsibilities of being a husband and father at 24. He deserves his father’s support and his wife deserves respect from Kobe’s parents.
As the parents of two adult children, my husband and I are thrilled that our children have fallen in love and chosen someone with whom they wish to spend the rest of their lives; we would be no less happy if the people they will marry had a skin color different from ours. Joe’s statements make him appear to be a manipulative, foolish, racist man. I pity him. And I would love to be an honorary grandma to Kobe and Vanessa’s baby girl.