A casual remark made by one of the contestants on ABC's "The Bachelor" had Twitter users feeling emotional in the wake of Kobe Bryant's death.
On an episode of the reality show that aired Monday, Jan. 27 — just one day after the Lakers legend died in a tragic helicopter crash — contestant Victoria Fuller goes on a one-on-one date with Bachelor Peter Weber at Cedar Point amusement park, located in Erie County, Ohio.
During an outtakes reel played right after the episode, Peter and Victoria, a 25-year-old medical sales representative from Virginia Beach, Va., can be seen shooting hoops together at the park following an awkward experience with one of the contestant's alleged ex-boyfriends, country singer Chase Rice.
At one point, as Peter readies to make a free throw, Victoria seemingly shouts "Kobe!" to encourage him.
People have long yelled "Kobe!" while attempting to sink shots, whether during pickup basketball games or even when tossing crumpled up papers into trash bins. The playful move pays homage to Bryant, who ranks as one of the highest-scoring NBA players of all time.
Although it remains unclear whether the scene was added to Monday night's broadcast following the NBA legend's death or if it was intended to air all along, we know that the footage shown in the episode was shot months before Bryant's death.
— Michael B (@Lilmikyb) January 28, 2020
No matter how the Kobe mention ended up on-air, it certainly left members of Bachelor nation reeling, with many taking to social media to share their sorrow.
"Victoria yelling 'Kobe' at the end just gave me chills... this was filmed months ago," one user wrote.
Victoria yelling “Kobe” at the end just gave me chills... this was filmed months ago. #TheBachelor 💔
— Kelbey (@kelbeylaw) January 28, 2020
Another reacted with a "crying Michael Jordan" meme.
— Brendan Wright (@_brend4n_) January 28, 2020
In fact, crying GIFs reacting to the moment were plentiful.
— b r i t t a n y (@weensandthings) January 28, 2020
— jordan | DM FOR NEW ACCT (@JordanMelissa85) January 28, 2020
— Akilah (@ajmartiin) January 28, 2020
— Jessica Campbell (@jmc3219) January 28, 2020
— boss baches🌹 (@bossbaches) January 28, 2020
One user even called the moment the "best way" to end the episode, as thousands mourn the death of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
Victoria F saying “Kobe” was the best way to end this episode #TheBachelor
— Ab ☻ (@bone_abby_tete) January 28, 2020
Greg Khach, director of publicity for The Bachelor Franchise, declined to comment on the clip in relation to Bryant's death.
Earlier this month, Victoria Fuller landed in hot water when a social media user discovered she previously modeled for a "White Lives Matter" brand.
Even before that, the contestant had become the center of controversy, with popular entertainment blog RealitySteve reporting in October 2019 that the 25-year-old had broken up several of her friends' marriages by being involved with their partners.
Amid widespread questioning about her character, Victoria took to Instagram to defend herself against allegations, although she did not specify which ones.
JEREMIAH 29:11 I’d like to start off by saying thank you to all of my family & friends for the overwhelming support. Even to the strangers who have reached out to show me kindness. THANK YOU. The RUMORS you are hearing are FALSE. There will be a time & place where I can defend myself, but for now I choose to wait. HOWEVER, bullying is NOT ok. Nor is it fair. Especially when casting judgement and basing opinions upon pure speculation, assumptions, & LIES. With that being said— On my best days & especially on my worst days I look to a friend. The best friend I’ve ever had in my life. He does not judge me for what I look like. He does not throw stones when I am down. He makes me smile when I am mad. Licks my tears when I am sad. Lays on my chest when my anxiety is through the roof. And paws my face when I can’t get out of bed some days to tell me, ‘Hey! I’m here. You’re enough. Remember that.’ That friend is my Black Lab, Buxton. I’m so proud to say that my boy is in training to become a #therapydog. Buxton has served as my personal service dog for over a year now, but his new role will be a little different. As a therapy dog Buxton will be providing comfort to children in hospitals, affection to elderly in retirement homes, love to those who may be having a hard time at school, & others who maybe just need a hug! Life will throw you curveballs, but sometimes all you need is some love & loyalty from a 4 legged friend willing to catch those curveballs for you. We may not always know the WHY, but we can rely on the fact that there is a reason. A reason to keep pushing forward wherever we may be in life. A reason that is a lot bigger than us. I trust that God & the Universe are showing me the way. . . . . & just remember.. we all have a story.
A post shared by Victoria Fuller (@vlfuller) on Nov 22, 2019 at 1:46pm PST
"The RUMORS you are hearing are FALSE," she wrote. "There will be a time & place where I can defend myself, but for now I choose to wait. HOWEVER, bullying is NOT ok. Nor is it fair. Especially when casting judgement and basing opinions upon pure speculation, assumptions, & LIES."