Petition to make Kobe Bryant the new NBA logo tops 2 million signatures
An online petition calling for the NBA to change its logo to feature Kobe Bryant has collected more than 2 million signatures just two days after the retired Los Angeles Lakers star, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in California.
Created just a few hours after news of Bryant’s death broke, the Change.org petition quickly began circulating on social media, repeatedly surpassing its signature targets as dozens of similar campaigns surfaced.
“My initial goal was to get a mere 100 signatures,” says Nikyar Moghtader, a Canadian teenager who started the petition Sunday. “I didn’t expect much to come out of it.”
In addition to those who added their names to Moghtader’s petition, a handful of high-profile basketball players, including NBA veteran Jamal Crawford and Cleveland Cavaliers center Larry Nance, Jr., have endorsed the idea on Twitter.
The current logo, in use for more than 50 years, is based on the silhouette of Jerry West, another Los Angeles Lakers legend who began playing in the 1960s and went on to become the Lakers’ long-time general manager. At the helm, West was the driving force behind some of the team’s key milestones, including signing Kobe Bryant fresh out of high school in 1996.
Moghtader, who calls Bryant his “hero and role model,” says the league has not formally responded to his petition.
In the past two days, petitions for Kobe-related causes have popped up online, including ones calling for the creation of National Kobe Bryant Day, asking the NBA to retire No. 24—Kobe’s most recent Lakers jersey number—across the league in his memory, and demanding that Fox cancel TMZ after “what they did to Kobe Bryant’s family”—leaking the news of Bryant's death before authorities could inform them.
The death of Bryant, who became a successful marketer himself, gave the advertising world pause one week before Super Bowl Sunday, with many brands postponing or suspending their campaign announcements this week. Meanwhile, Nike reported selling out of all Kobe Bryant merchandise online.