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Tom Brady 'deeply affected' by death of Kobe Bryant

Tom Brady is a free agent for the first time in his career
Image: Tom Brady posted a tribute to Kobe Bryant on social media

Tom Brady has posted a personal letter on social media about how he has been 'deeply affected' by the death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash last month.

Brady posted the letter titled "What's really important?" the day after the memorial to Bryant at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

People arrive to attend the "Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant" service at Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles on February 24, 2020
Image: A "Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant" was held at the Staples Center in LA on Monday

In the letter Brady wrote of how the "outpouring of love and support for the families helped me reflect and gain perspective."

"In this tragedy I have learned so much," Brady continued. "Why has this touched me in the way that it did? Why has it kept me up at night, and brought so many tears?"

"In Kobe, we were able to witness the man in the arena. For many of us, sports show what we are made of, they define our personalities and emotions.

"We cannot hide from the good or the bad, from the wins or the losses...the joy and despair, the happiness and the pain.

Kobe Bryant in action for the Los Angeles Lakers
Image: Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in January

"What you see is what it is, we aren't actors. We have found a real life stage where we become vulnerable to the world and judged based on the outcome of each performance. And we care deeply about what we do.

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"For some, these days are the pinnacle of their life, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it's clear to me, for Kobe, that was how he lived his life in every way. In his second chapter, you saw even more."

"His mere presence had an effect on everybody he was around," Brady added. "He had the energy to recognise in others what they could not recognise in themselves.

The Staples Center scorecard honours Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the other victims of last Sunday's tragic helicopter crash
Image: The Staples Center scorecard honours Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the other victims of the helicopter crash

"I think that's why I'll miss him most. Because we all know the world needs more of that leadership and positivity.

"We recognise that he was doing the work that others don't want to or simply can't do. The world we live in is full of people telling kids and adults 'you can't', 'you shouldn't', 'you won't', or 'you never will.'

"The world we live in is teaching EVERYONE to fear, to worry, to shame or to give up. And that's the opposite of what Kobe stood for.

"That's what made Kobe a real superhero. He spoke about mentality with such conviction, about the idea that if you truly believed in something you could achieve could overcome the obstacles in your path.

"And not just that, he walked the walk and did the work. He pushed others to find that same confidence. He was the real life superhero our world needs.

"That's what we all miss. That's why we hurt. Because we know that he was always fighting against the norm. He was doing more than his share. Now who is going to do the work that is still here to be done?

Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Image: Brady called Bryant a real life super hero

"Who is going to fight and break the norms with love and joy and inspiration? Who is going to discard fear and doubt and hate?

"Who is going to carry the load and be the superhero that he was? The answer is simple to me, ALL OF US.

"Decide to make the change in yourself. If there is anything I have learned and been inspired by through this tragic event, it is this, SEIZE THE DAY.

"That's what Kobe always did and that's what he wanted for us too."

NFL offseason key dates

When? What?
February 24 - March 2 NFL Scouting Combine
February 25 First day for teams to designate Franchise or Transition Players
March 10 Deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players
March 18 2020 league year and free agency period begin
April 6 Clubs with new head coaches (Panthers) may begin offseason workout programs
April 17 Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets
April 23-25 2020 NFL Draft
July 15 Deadline for any designated Franchise Player to sign a multi-year contract extension
Mid-July Teams may open training camp for rookies seven days before the permissible reporting date for veterans
September 5 Teams must reduce rosters to 53 players.

Sky Sports NFL will keep you updated with all the news and offseason storylines, including the Scouting Combine, Free Agency and the NFL Draft. Follow us @SkySportsNFL and at

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