B.C. teen's petition to add Kobe Bryant to NBA logo collects 1 million signatures
VANCOUVER -- A B.C. teenager's petition to have Kobe Bryant added to the NBA logo has been signed more than a million times since the retired basketball star's untimely death over the weekend.
Nikyar Moghtader's petition proposes updating the logo with Bryant's image to "immortalize him forever" and celebrate his legendary career in the NBA.
The 16-year-old Vancouver resident set up the online Change.org petition on Sunday, shortly after Bryant and eight others died in a helicopter accident. The petition has since gone viral with about 1.14 million signatures as of Monday evening.
Among the signatures are those of several celebrities, including rappers Snoop Dogg, T.I. and Meek Mill.
Singers Justin Bieber and Usher signed the petition, as did Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, Change.org said. Actress Vanessa Hudgens and model Naomi Campbell also added their support.
The teenager told CTV News he never expected the petition to get so much attention – his original goal was to gather just 100 signatures.
"Seeing my petition reach so many people was overwhelming. It represents the amazing community of fans and supporters of Kobe Bryant and the NBA," Moghtader said in an email.
The basketball fan said he never had a chance to see Bryant play in person, but he followed his career closely on TV. Moghtader said his "heart instantly dropped" when he heard the news on Sunday.
"I didn't believe it at first," he said. "He was my favourite player and is the reason I love basketball to this day."
Bryant's 13-year-old daughter was among the victims of Sunday's crash in Los Angeles. It's unclear what caused the accident, but local police said they had grounded their choppers due to fog that was considered a potential hazard.
The crash prompted an outpouring of grief and condolences from the retired NBA star's fans, thousands of whom showed up to the Staples Center on Sunday wearing his jersey.
The current NBA logo features the silhouette of another retired Lakers star, Jerry West, who told ESPN in 2017 that he'd be happy for officials to change it.
"I don't like to do anything to call attention to myself," he said in an appearance on ESPN's The Jump. "If they would want to change it, I wish they would. In many ways, I wish they would."
With files from The Associated Press