‘Advocate for Women’s Sports’: Former NFL QB Shares Why Kobe Bryant is an Inspiration For All

Published 03/28/2021, 6:45 AM EDT
WESTWOOD, CA – JULY 14: Kobe Bryant, wife Vanessa Bryant, daughter’s Gianna Maria Onore Bryant and Natalia Diamante Bryant arrive at Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards 2016 at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion on July 14, 2016 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)


Kobe Bryant was an excellent ambassador for the NBA, whether it be his incredible play on the court or his off-the-court endeavors. Throughout his 20 year career, Bryant was one of the most iconic figures in the league and helped bring in many new eyes to the game with his incredible play. But Bryant did so much more for sports, especially the women’s game.

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Kobe Bryant inspired Matt Leinart

Recently, former NFL quarterback Matt Leinart gave an interview, where he discussed how Kobe Bryant inspired him and several others who help run his league. He had interacted with Bryant on a personal level and explained how much he looked up to Kobe throughout his career.

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 06: Rachel Banham (L) greets Kobe Bryant at a basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on April 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)

“I think what inspired all of us in my family and everyone who runs the leagues is Kobe Bryant. Kobe, I had the chance to get to know him on a personal level. One of the few athletes that I think a lot of us look up to. But just one of the most inspirational athletes that I’ve ever looked up to and gotten to know.” 

Kobe often advocated for the women’s game

Leinart spoke about the efforts Kobe was putting in to elevate women’s basketball. Kobe was constantly helping his daughter Gianna Bryant, often coaching her and bringing a spotlight to the games. Leinart addressed the greatness of Kobe, and shared his sadness over his tragic accident last year, especially because he was starting on a new journey in his life.

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“I think the special thing about Kobe was what he was doing in women’s basketball and, in particular, with his daughter Gianna. Just really being a voice for women’s basketball. We know Kobe is one of the greatest to ever do it, and it’s devastating because it was just the start of the journey for him and his daughter, what he was doing to advocate for women’s sports.”

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Kobe was a huge advocate for the women’s game. He constantly voiced his support for players in the WNBA, offering guidance and critiques whenever he could. And they have voiced their appreciation for everything he has done for them throughout his time in the spotlight.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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