- The Washington Times
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

In the aftermath of Kobe Bryant’s death Sunday, Nike has decided to take down all merchandise related to Bryant from its online store to prevent people from buying items in bulk and reselling them at a profit, ESPN reported.

Trying to search Bryant’s name on Nike.com currently directs shoppers to a statement from the company about the NBA great.

“Along with millions of athletes and fans throughout the world, we are devastated by today’s tragic news,” the statement reads. “We extend our deepest sympathies to those closest to Kobe and Gianna, especially their family and friends. As we are learning more details of the accident and the others who have tragically lost their lives, our heartfelt sympathies go out to everyone involved and impacted.

“Kobe was one of the greatest athletes of his generation and has had an immeasurable impact on the world of sport and the community of basketball. He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever.”

But that web page does not show any Bryant products for fans to buy, which is to ensure resellers don’t stock up on Bryant merch and exploit fans’ grief by selling them jerseys and other items for a big markup, according to ESPN.

Nike isn’t the only company with difficult decisions to make after Bryant, 41, died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter on Sunday. At least one sneaker store, RIF Los Angeles, halted sales of Bryant’s sneakers.

“We will not be selling any Kobes till further notice,” RIF Los Angeles said in a statement. “All Kobes have been pulled off the floor and all online orders have been refunded.”

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