BBC Mistakenly Uses LeBron James Footage in Kobe Bryant's Obituary

The BBC is apologizing for mistakenly using footage of LeBron James during its obituary for Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. The mistake was instantly spotted on Twitter and called out as an embarrassing moment for the U.K. broadcaster. Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California Sunday morning.

"In tonight's coverage of the death of Kobe Bryant on [BBC News Ten] we mistakenly used pictures of LeBron James in one section of the report," editor Paul Royall tweeted. "We apologise for this human error which fell below our usual standards on the programme."

The BBC was quickly criticized on Twitter, with many pointing out that the footage even included clear shots of the back of James' jersey.

"A tribute to Kobe Bryant from the BBC used footage of Lebron James because f— checking the name on the back of a jersey. All the bulls— I've seen today is why I am utterly ashamed of my profession," journalist Richard Lewis tweeted. "There are no standards anymore."

"Who cut this?????" another person tweeted. "BBC news using footage of Lebron James instead of Kobe Bryant in their obit!!!!!"

"Any error that causes an epic blunder like this tells us all that the newsroom has some pretty basic control checks missing," one person tweeted. "Can't be brushed aside as a 'these things happen' human error."

"The fact you let it go on air when the man's name is on his shirt lays bare your shoddy standards, ingrained racism, or both," one person replied to Royall. "Everyone in the chain of command for that piece should be sacked. There is no excuse for it."

"Not good enough," another wrote. "No apology is good enough. There is institutional racism which needs to be eradicated."

The BBC's mistake was not the only mistake from the media on Sunday. ABC News reporter Matt Gutman was the target of complaints on social media when he speculated on television that all of Bryant's daughters were on the helicopter when it crashed. Twitter users even began using the hashtag #FireMattGutman.

There were also rumors that former Lakers player Rick Fox was on the helicopter, but these turned out to be untrue. At one point, Fox's name was even trending on Twitter.


"To confirm my stepdad Rick Fox is ALIVE and safe! " Fox's stepdaughter Rick Fox tweeted. "I just got off the phone with my sister. We are all in shock and deeply saddened but please don’t spread false news."

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