Vanessa Bryant To Undergo Psych Evaluation Amid Lawsuit Against Los Angeles County

Fans Defend Vanessa Bryant After Being Accused Of Not Using Kobe’s Wealth For ‘The Black Community’

Home / Stars / Fans Defend Vanessa Bryant After Being Accused Of Not Using Kobe’s Wealth For ‘The Black Community’

By Favour Adegoke on December 28, 2023 at 1:15 PM EST
Updated on December 28, 2023 at 5:01 PM EST

Controversial figure Dr. Umar Johnson criticized Vanessa Bryant on the "Joe Budden Podcast," accusing her of not using Kobe's wealth for the Black community's good.

Johnson claimed Vanessa chose white colleges for an initiative. The clip sparked a Twitter uproar, with users defending Vanessa's right to her money.

Kobe and Vanessa's foundation supports minority students, and Vanessa donated her $16 million privacy lawsuit winnings to their foundation. The Mambacita clothing line also funds charitable initiatives.

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Vanessa Bryant Put On Blast For Not Using Kobe Bryant's Wealth For The Black Community

During a recent appearance on the "Joe Budden Podcast" episode, Dr. Umar criticized Vanessa, the widow of basketball star Kobe Bryant, accusing her of not using Kobe's wealth to "do any good in the Black community."

In the podcast video, Johnson claimed Vanessa, who is of Mexican descent, didn't contribute to the Black community. He said that the widow "inherited [Kobe Bryant's] wealth and guess what? Is Vanessa Bryant using any of that Black man's money to do any good in the Black community? Absolutely f----- not."

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When challenged on the accuracy of his claims, Johnson, known for his controversial views on interracial marriages, stated: "She's a public figure... I do know, and I'm telling you now. Vanessa Bryant just started an initiative with three predominantly white colleges, some sort of a sports initiative with Kobe's money and Kobe's name."

"Didn't choose a single HBCU [historically Black colleges and universities] with a Black man's money," he added.

Johnson emphasized his point, adding: "If I marry a white woman, when I die, my wealth goes to the very people who robbed everything from my community."

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Social Media Users Defend Vanessa Bryant

Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant at the 2019 Baby2Baby Gala

The podcast clip has ignited a storm on X (formerly Twitter), amassing over 26 million views.

One user defended Vanessa, asserting her right to use the money however she sees fit, writing: "I don't give a d--- if Vanessa used the money to buy lollipops and gumdrops. It's her money, her loss, and she should use it how she deems fit. She doesn't owe anyone, anything, any organization, any community a CENT."

Another questioned, "How is the Bryant family money in anyway entitled to and rightfully owned by black people? Do you even think before you type?"

A third criticized Johnson's financial advice, highlighting that "he been taking money for nearly 10 years to build a school that hasn't been built yet and he talking about using black and peoples money."

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A fourth user debunked claims, sharing evidence of black children benefiting from the Mamba Foundation/ Academy, challenging Johnson's stance. The user added, "There are literally black children in the Mamba Foundation/ academy. Please use your time and energy to avenge actual issues within the black community. Vanessa Bryant is not one of them."

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It's Been Three Years Since The Loss of Her Husband And Daughter

Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Laine Bryant at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

In January 2020, Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, were tragically among nine individuals who lost their lives in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California.

The devastating incident led to a global outpouring of grief for the NBA legend, who is survived by his wife of 19 years, Vanessa, and their three other daughters, Natalia, 20, Bianka, 7, and Capri, 4.

In September of the same year, Vanessa filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County, asserting that deputies at the crash site had "used personal cell phones to take and share gratuitous photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches."

In August 2022, nine jurors unanimously ruled in Vanessa's favor, awarding her $16 million for the invasion of privacy and emotional distress caused by the photos.

Vanessa Bryant's Philanthropic Efforts

Vanessa Bryant and her girls

In 2007, Kobe and Vanessa established the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation, offering scholarships to minority college students and youth globally. The couple were also founding contributors to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

2016, the couple founded the Mamba Sports Foundation after Kobe's retirement. The foundation, now renamed Mamba & Mambacita Foundation after the Los Angeles Lakers icon's tragic passing, provides funding and sports programs for young athletes in underserved communities.

In August 2022, Vanessa announced her decision to donate the $16 million awarded in her lawsuit against Los Angeles County to the Mamba & Mambacita Foundation, per Newsweek.

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In 2021, she also introduced the Mambacita clothing line to honor her late daughter, Gigi, on what would have been Gigi's 15th birthday. At the time, they announced that all proceeds from the clothing line contribute to the Mamba & Mambacita Foundation's charitable initiatives.

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