Kobe Bryant's Sports Academy Retires 'Mamba' Name Out of Respect, Fans Are Upset

Fans are threatening to remove their support for the Sports Academy previously co-owned by the late NBA star after it announces that it drops Kobe's nickname from its brand.

AceShowbiz - The Mamba Sports Academy is retiring "Mamba" from its name, out of respect for Kobe Bryant. The Southern California sports academy previously co-owned by the late NBA legend announced on Tuesday, May 12 that it would return to its original name of Sports Academy.

In announcing the decision, the Sports Academy said "it was a mutual agreement made in accordance with the wishes of his estate." The facility added in a statement, "Thank you for respecting that decision in these turbulent times."

Sports Academy CEO Chad Faulkner also addressed their decision to revert back to their original name, saying, "Our beliefs and thoughts are Kobe is one of one. 'Mamba' is one of one. And with that as we carry on as The Sports Academy, it's more appropriate to put Kobe in another Hall of Fame, if you will, and to really respect a legacy that is really unrivaled, frankly, and let that live on its own. "

"We will continue to do the work we do. We were fortunate to learn from Kobe. We will carry on much of those learnings that we have in a respectful way," he continued.

Chad also revealed plans to place memorials for Kobe at the Sports Academy locations in honor of the LA Lakers great, if the Bryant family gives their consent. "That will really end up being up to the desires of the family and to the respect of the family. For us, we leave that up to the future," he said. "This is such a critical time for the family to keep working through the grieving process and everything they’re working for. We are going to play really conservative from that approach. We are all for it. ... But it's really not necessarily the right thing for us to do proactively."

The Mamba Sports Academy was launched in 2018 as a joint athletic training business venture with Kobe and Chad. The name "Mamba" was a part of Kobe's nickname, "The Black Mamba," which he gave to himself.

While the Sports Academy has explained that the decision to drop "Mamba" from its name was made in "mutual" agreement with his estate, Kobe's fans disagreed with it. Sounding off their protests, they took to the comment section of the Sports Academy's Instagram post to threaten to remove their support for it.

"PUT MAMBA BACK IN THE NAME," one demanded. "Gonna do that to kobe smh," another disappointed fan reacted. A third user responded, "Disrespectful AF no reason to follow you guys anymore... Mamba Forever."

Not buying the Sports Academy's explanation, someone said, "Totally unfollowing. Why would you change the name ?! You would think you would keep the name in his honor . How sad." Someone else similarly accused the sports facility, "Y'all lying to the public changing the name wasn't for 'respect' that was strictly a business move respect his name !!"

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