Kobe Bryant Mural Removed in Indianapolis Following Backlash

Following the deaths of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash two weeks ago, fans around the world have responded by paying tribute to the late NBA icon however possible. Murals have been a popular choice among street artists, but there is one that drew some criticism recently. A gas station in Indianapolis featured an attempt to honor Bryant, but its mural has been painted over due to backlash.

According to Black Indy Live, the mural was added to a wall at Marathon Gas on the corner of 38th Street and Highschool Road in Indianapolis. The identity of the artist is unknown, but many have questioned their age on social media. This led to several comments about Bryant's features and the quality of the depiction.

The mural has since been covered with purple paint. There is a faint outline where the mural used to be, as well as a faint yellow jersey that can still be seen.

"That Kobe mural in Indianapolis.. I really hope a child didn't do it because ... geez.. y'all went in," one user wrote on Twitter after seeing the mural. The responses to this mural of Bryant ranged from disappointment to rage, especially among users on Facebook.

"Smh terrible- Face is terrible, armpit jungle is terrible and jersey wide AF smh," another individual commented after seeing the representation of the late NBA icon. Several commenters were astounded by the amount of armpit hair present and wondered why this artistic decision was made.

Not all responses to this mural were negative. There was one individual on Facebook that was defending the artist from all of the backlash. The mural may not have been a picture-perfect representation of Bryant, but this individual appreciated the attempt at a tribute.

"I think it's dope.... it's a tribute to a great basketball icon, that's that person's impression!" the user commented on Saturday. "The person is probably not a professional, so ease up ! I've seen hall of fame busts that look nothing like the athlete.... I've heard people play or sing others people's music and it not sound or look like the original! Stop 'Gayle King'n' this dude! #atleastitaintLBJ"


The mural in Indianapolis was certainly divisive, but it is no longer available for residents to examine on a daily basis. This is a welcome sight for those that disliked the depiction of Bryant. Although others appreciate the attempt to honor the late NBA icon.

(Photo Credit: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)