The BBC issued an apology after its tribute to former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant featured footage of current Laker LeBron James, but that didn’t stop Twitter users from ripping the network for its mistake.
Bryant, whose 20-year NBA career included five NBA championships with the Lakers and a league MVP in 2008, died tragically in a helicopter crash Sunday morning along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people.
The BBC tribute segment, which occurred during the network’s “News At Ten” program, according to The Guardian, mistakenly featured footage of James playing for the Lakers instead of Bryant, who retired in 2016.
I genuinely cannot believe that the actual BBC News at 10 just did this pic.twitter.com/n6csMV9OOG
— Matthew Champion (@matthewchampion) January 26, 2020
BBC editor Paul Royall apologized via Twitter, blaming “human error.” (RELATED: BBC Doubles Down On Translating ‘Jew’ As ‘Israeli’ In Palestinians’ Anti-Semitic Comments)
“In tonight’s coverage of the death of Kobe Bryant on BBCNewsTen we mistakenly used pictures of LeBron James in one section of the report,” Royall tweeted. “We apologise for this human error which fell below our usual standards on the programme.”
In tonight’s coverage of the death of Kobe Bryant on #BBCNewsTen 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.
— Paul Royall (@paulroyall) January 26, 2020
Reaction to the network’s mistake was swift:
A tribute to Kobe Bryant from the BBC used footage of Lebron James because fuck checking the name on the back of a jersey. All the bullshit I’ve seen today is why I am utterly ashamed of my profession. There are no standards anymore. pic.twitter.com/C0HD9HmAjH
— Richard Lewis (@RLewisReports) January 26, 2020
Dear BBC News, you appear to have inserted clips of LeBron James into your tribute package for Kobe Bryant for no apparent reason … pic.twitter.com/E4j0ehycfd
— Sachin Nakrani (@SachinNakrani) January 26, 2020
Oh I can believe it.
The BBC paid tribute to Kobe Bryant using footage of… LeBron James. FFS. https://t.co/cDO7yvquG1
— Elizabeth Pears (@BizPears) January 26, 2020
First ABC mixes up who died in the helicopter crash, then an NBC reporter mixes up the Knicks & Lakers, then Mayor Pete refers to Kobe’s work “on the field”, & BBC runs an entire segment of LeBron footage thinking it’s Kobe
my god. I don’t even follow sports and i’m not this bad
— Pardes Seleh (@PardesSeleh) January 27, 2020
Deeply unfortunate mix up from BBC. They got two big, Black men confused and featured Lebron James instead of late Kobe Bryant in this news segment. This only adds to our collective grief at this time. Has a correction and apology been issued yet? Shame. pic.twitter.com/jCUejPKWc4
— Nadine White (@Nadine_Writes) January 26, 2020
BBC News at 10pm used Lebron James footage for the Kobe story. WTF?
His jersey SAYS JAMES!
Come on! Do better!
Hire better diverse staff. https://t.co/f95hyTJDFo
— Jasmine Dotiwala (@jasminedotiwala) January 26, 2020
Cannot believe the BBC- reporting on Kobe Bryant’s death but showing video footage of LeBron James.
If you know you know. pic.twitter.com/oZNmqA1rqF
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) January 26, 2020
Can’t believe BBC News just played clips of Lebron James during the Kobe Bryant report…
— Ed Aarons (@ed_aarons) January 26, 2020