BBC apologizes for airing LeBron James video in segment on Kobe Bryant's death

In a tweet, a BBC editor apologized "for this human error which fell below our usual standards."
Lebron James drives to the hoop against Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles
Lebron James drives to the hoop against Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles on Jan. 12, 2006.Noah Graham / NBAE via Getty Images

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By Janelle Griffith

The BBC apologized Sunday for using video of NBA star LeBron James during a segment on the death of retired Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

Video of James surpassing Bryant on the NBA's career scoring list Saturday night appeared in the BBC's "News at Ten" program.

"In tonight's coverage of the death of Kobe Bryant on #BBCNewsTen we mistakenly used pictures of LeBron James in one section of the report," BBC editor Paul Royall said in a statement on Twitter on Sunday. The tweet apologized "for this human error which fell below our usual standards."

Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna, 13, were among nine people who died in a helicopter crash in the Los Angeles area Sunday.

BuzzFeed's deputy world news editor, Matthew Champion, tweeted a video of the segment and said: "I genuinely cannot believe that the actual BBC News at 10 just did this."

His tweet was liked more than 60,000 times and garnered 14,000 retweets as of Monday morning.

The segment included a photo of Bryant and Gianna and then cut to video of James, who joined the Lakers after Bryant's retirement, playing in uniform.

Many on social media slammed the BBC for the error.

Huffington Post reporter Nadine White described it as a "deeply unfortunate mix up."

"They got two big, Black men confused and featured Lebron James instead of late Kobe Bryant in this news segment," she tweeted. "This only adds to our collective grief at this time. Has a correction and apology been issued yet? Shame."

Others questioned how the BBC could mistake the two men when James' name was on the back of his jersey.

"Who cut this?????" one Twitter user asked. "BBC news using footage of Lebron James instead of Kobe Bryant in their obit!!!!! IT EVEN SAYS JAMES ON HIS SHIRT."