BBC apologises for airing footage of LeBron James during Kobe Bryant segment

Kobe Bryant

BBC officials have apologised after mistakenly airing footage of LeBron James during a segment about the death of his fellow National Basketball Association (NBA) player Kobe Bryant.

The 41-year-old and his daughter Gianna, 13, were travelling to one of her basketball games in his private helicopter when it crashed in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning. Both were among a reported nine people who lost their lives.

However, during coverage of the tragic incident, producers of BBC's News at Ten programme aired footage of James beating Bryant's career points tally and failed to explain to viewers why they were seeing James on screen rather than Bryant.

Viewers pointed out the error online, criticising the BBC for confusing the two prominent black basketball stars.

At the end of the bulletin, newsreader Reeta Chakrabarti apologised for the earlier error and commented: "In our coverage of the death of Kobe Bryant, in one section of the report, we mistakenly showed pictures of another basketball player, LeBron James. We do apologise for the error."

Paul Royall, editor of BBC News at Six and Ten, also posted an apology on Twitter, noting that producer had "mistakenly used pictures of LeBron James in one section of the report".

He added: "We apologise for this human error which fell below our usual standards on the programme."

Numerous stars have taken to social media to share tributes to the victims of the crash, with the Recording Academy's interim chief Harvey Mason, Jr. holding a "moment of silence" as he opened the 2020 Grammy Awards on Sunday night.


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