A journalist’s account of how basketball star Kobe Bryant told her that he was proud to be a ‘girl dad’ sparked a viral trend on social media in which fathers posted photos with their daughters. Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash Sunday.
ESPN journalist Elle Duncan spoke on air about an encounter with the LA Lakers’ star during an event two years ago in New York. The journalist said that she was eight months pregnant at the time, prompting Bryant to immediately ask how she was doing.
Duncan said that when she told Bryant that she was having a girl, he had high-fived her, and said “girls are the best.” She then asked Bryant – a father of four daughters – about having more girls.
An emotional Duncan said that he told her “I would have five more girls if I could. I am a girl dad.”
Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill tweeted the clip of Duncan, and it got over 37 million views. It also prompted fathers to share photos with their daughters and sparked the trending hashtag #GirlDad:
This one damn near broke me pic.twitter.com/hdAwOKBrWl
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) January 28, 2020
The last time I remember John crying, aside from this week, was when Luna wrapped her little finger around his at the hospital when she was born. There really is something magical about girls and their dads. Thank you, @elleduncanESPN https://t.co/P4VL5Z8dC4 pic.twitter.com/hgWWB0DHcB
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) January 28, 2020
From Instagram to Twitter, here are some photos that emerged as men posted photos with their daughters:
— TheCoachGieselman (@gieseldiesel) January 30, 2020
— yourgirlsfavoritecapper🧢 (@clearyconfusedd) January 30, 2020
Proud to be a #girldad – plenty of fun moments that I cherish every day. ❤️
— Jorge Sedano (@Sedano) January 29, 2020
My daughter usually gets in our bed in the AM and hugs mum. Not me.
Today, she got in and hugged me. She didn’t let go. We fell back to sleep. When I went to get out of bed, she said ‘stay daddy’.
I treasured this morning and will never, ever take it for granted.#GirlDads
— Jarrod Walsh (@jarrodwalsh) January 29, 2020
— Jeremy Hefner (@jeremy_hefner53) January 29, 2020
— 🌚 (@heelkhalil) January 29, 2020
— Mark Ingram II (@markingram21) January 28, 2020
— Joel Allen (@joelkevinallen) January 29, 2020
— Kenny Wayne 🐶 (@kennywayne6god) January 29, 2020
— Jeremy J (@backroadtaker) January 29, 2020
— Te Pahau (@Te_Pahau) January 28, 2020
Dad of 5 girls here, this Kobe tragedy hit particularly close to home as I have the privilege of coaching 4 of my 5 this year (youngest not playing… yet). Thank you for your story, and I am praying for Vanessa and her daughters as well as the other victims. #girldad #GirlDads pic.twitter.com/2uSUW8s6Q0
— Mark McLaughlin (@mclaumar) January 28, 2020
Moved by the overwhelming response to the clip, Duncan said that she loved the fact that #girldad was trending.
“So for all those proud fathers who still have their girls to love on can you flood my timeline with pics of you and your flock. Honestly I need it as much as anyone rt now,” she tweeted.