The BBC Apologizes After Airing Footage Of LeBron James During Segment About Kobe Bryant's Death

The BBC Apologizes After Airing Footage Of LeBron James During Segment About Kobe Bryant's Death

BBC's evening news program BBC News at Ten made an apology after their unfortunate mistake of showing footage of NBA star LeBron James while reporting on the death of Kobe Bryant.

On Sunday, NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died with seven other passengers in a helicopter crash in the hills of Calabasas, California. The full list of victims hasn't been released by authorities, but family members of the victims confirmed their identities in tributes posted online.

In addition to Kobe and Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, the other victims have been identified as husband John, wife Keri and daughter Alyssa Altobelli; mother Sarah and daughter Payton Chester; coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.

The BBC ran a segment paying tribute to Bryant and started with a photo of the late Bryant and his daughter, but then cut to clips of LeBron James out on the court.

A clip of James high-fiving another teammate showed while the reporter was talking about Bryant:

"His list of achievements is long. An all-star, an NBA champion and an Olympic gold medalist."
"He was unashamedly competitive. And he was deeply frustrated when his playing career was cut short by injuries."

The gaffe did not go unnoticed by Twitter.

Users mocked the British broadcaster.

The team jersey should have been a strong indicator to avoid the snafu.

Some viewers theorized that the BBC may have scrambled to gather footage for the breaking news.

Some refused to let the BBC off the hook.

Others asked people to focus on the victims in the wake of such tragedy.

The BBC issued a statement calling what happened, a "human error."

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

Witnesses of the crash recalled hearing sputtering noises from the engine before the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter crashed into the hill side before 10 a.m.

The exact cause remains under investigation.

Former President Barack Obama also expressed his sorrow for Bryant and Gianna.

"Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act."
"To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day."

Kurt Deetz, a pilot who used to fly Bryant, said the weather may have played a role in the crash over mechanical failure.

He told the Los Angeles Times:

"The likelihood of a catastrophic twin engine failure on that aircraft—it just doesn't happen."

Bryant played with the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 seasons and was the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points.

The 18-time all-star was 41.

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