"I'd Rather Be with Them Than Doing Anything Else": Kobe Bryant's Status as the MVP of Girl's Dads

Document Type


Publication Date



Over 40 years ago, Cazenave (1979) provided one of the first scholarly examinations of how middle-income Black fathers defined the provider role. Since that time, scholars have studied the realities of biological and social fathers (Coles et al., 2010; Connor & White, 2006; Hamer, 2001, 1997; McDougal III & George III, 2016; Ransaw, 2017), as well as the relationship between fathering and sport (Fletcher, 2020). This qualitative work examined the words the late Kobe Bryant (January 23, 1978-January 26, 2020) used to describe his role as father to four daughters. To determine the underlying messages behind Bryant's words, I used Phenomenology as the theoretical framework. Qualitative analysis of the words featured in the article, "Kobe Bryant's 10 Most Touching Quotes on Fatherhood and Raising Daughters" By Emily Cavanaugh (February 25, 2020) revealed three themes: (1) Bryant made being a present father a priority; (2) Bryant publicly praised his late daughter Gianna and her sisters; and (3) Bryant saw himself as a role model to children. Most important, Bryant's fame and status in professional basketball along with his narratives regarding being a father to daughters is a strong, enduring counter narrative to the "absent Black father" trope that is common in society. The work also discussed the reasons why in light of the rape scandal Kobe Bryant is a good role model. Implications for how fatherhood will shape the Bryant legacy will be discussed.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Journal of African American studies (New Brunswick, N.J.)

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.