Eagles cornerback Darius Slay pays homage to Kobe Bryant

By Evan Lynn
April 17, 2020

Darius Slay entering the field as a Lion. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
When former Los Angeles Laker’s shooting guard Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter accident in January, it left many stunned and upset. Bryant had a huge impact on many in the Philadelphia region, even non-sports fans. His passion, commitment and work ethic are reportedly second to none. 

The Eagles recently signed former Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay. Slay wore number 23 with the Lions, but after his big move to Philadelphia, he has decided to wear 24 on his jersey in honor of Bryant. Slay has named Bryant as one of his biggest inspirations and is excited to be a part of Bryant’s favorite sports team: The Eagles.

Slay will be wearing number 24 for the Philadelphia Eagles. Pexels.com

Many fans of both Bryant and the Eagles are eager to see what Slay brings to the table and if he’ll be able to continue Bryant’s legacy in Philly. Some even thought Bryant might help Slay achieve bigger goals on his new team.

“Kobe has had a huge impact in the world of sports, not just in basketball,” Kirsten Searcy, sophomore criminology major, said. “Slay’s drive to make his idol proud could definitely push him to be his best on the field every chance he has.”

Others thought Slay wearing the number 24 was a nice tribute, but he has big shoes to fill.

“He (Bryant) would be proud but I feel like Kobe would want more,” Ryan Byars, sophomore communication major, said. “He would want him to just work hard and with heart like he did every single game. The number is out of respect, but now he has to have the Mamba mentality.”

Fans were split down the middle about Bryant’s jersey being retired after Slay retires or is traded to another team.

“I feel that Slay wanted to bring hope back to the city knowing that someone from their neighborhoods is still be represented in the area that he was close to,” Tyler Seabrook, junior communication major, said. “I believe that the number 24 jersey should be retired after Slay wears it because it would be the right thing to do for a person like Kobe Bryant.”

“When Slay is finished his career, I feel like they shouldn’t retire his jersey because other players could carry the legacy on,” Searcy said.

“Kobe would be so happy that one of his biggest fans is carrying his legacy in his hometown,” Brian Rohanna, Cabrini alumnus, said. “But the only way that the Eagles would retire number 24 is if Slay becomes a great player for the Eagles during his time with us.”

It will be interesting to see how Darius Slay performs in Philadelphia and if he will actually be able to live up to the legacy that is Kobe Bryant. One thing is for sure, Philadelphia fans cannot wait to see the impact this trade will have in the long run and if Slay could be part of the Super Bowl puzzle and bring the Eagles one step closer to the promised land.

Evan Lynn

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