News of Kobe Bryant's death in a helicopter crash Sunday was shocking to everyone, including players at the Pro Bowl. Bryant was a sports icon, admired by fellow athletes for his skill, dedication to his craft and passion for winning. Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also reportedly among those who perished in the crash.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson said it was difficult to focus on the game after players were informed of Bryant's death in the locker room shortly before kickoff.
"Everybody in our locker room was hurting," Jackson said. "In our hearts, he did so much for the game. He touched everyone in different ways. It's hurtful to see something like that happen to a great guy like that, great player.
"It was devastating. It's got to be fate. It's unreal. You don't want to hear anything like that. This is my first Pro Bowl. So, it's like, right before the game? That's crazy. God always calls his angels home for a reason. God knows best."
Ravens running back Mark Ingram II said players on both teams were still reeling from the news as they walked down the tunnel to take the field for the game.
"It was almost like you didn't really want to come play hearing that news," Ingram said. "When you lose an icon, a great human being, a father, a husband. One of the best ever to play the game. Changed many lives. There's really no words. You pray for the family that they be comforted, all those affected at this time. The world lost a great one. It hurt really bad."
Ravens right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. lost his father, former Ravens offensive lineman Orlando Brown Sr., when he passed away in 2011. Brown was 15 years old at the time, giving him perspective on what Bryant's surviving daughters will face.
"I feel sorry for him, his kids and his wife as well," Brown said. "Being someone that dealt with death of a parent, it's not easy. (Bryant) won't ever be there for when they're adults, or even teenagers. That's tough."
Many Ravens reacted on social media:
The National Football League also issued a statement on Bryant's death.