The Beckett Blog

Up for Discussion: Kobe and “Call of Duty” by tolentinotown

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

In case you missed it, NBA superstar and hobby highlight Kobe Bryant appears in a potentially controversial commercial for “Call of Duty: Black Ops.” Woven into a montage of everyday people in a war scene, Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel dodge explosions and fire serious military weapons at unidentified (to the audience) targets.

Celebrity endorsements are key in our pop-culture-crazed society, and, yes, this is an advertisement for a “Mature” video game. However, at the risk of opening Pandora’s box I ask the collecting community, should stars stray away from appearances that could be interpreted as promotion of violence? What would you think if your next pull featured Bryant brandishing an assault rifle, or Jordan dual-wielding Glocks?

The hobby definitely doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so we’re curious to hear the collector’s take on Kobe’s armed answer to the “Call of Duty.” Chime in with your thoughts and see what others are saying on the thread.


3 Comments so far
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At first, I thought I was being racist for thinking that their actor kind of looked like Jimmy Kimmel. But then I noticed Kobe Bryant and realized what was going on.

Comment by anon

I honestly saw this on YouTube before any other exposure, so I knew, going in, that it was an ad for a video GAME. Because I knew it was a game, the violence depicted wasn’t offensive, and, since an enemy wasn’t depicted, the use of weapons was innocuous. However, it’s impossible to write about this sort of thing without appearing to be an ignorant dolt. Too bad. The violence existed in a vacuum. It was cool and funny, and so was Kobe’s appearance.

Comment by Pete Borini

I thought it was a cool promotion for a game that most young adults and children have either played, or know about. While this could be miscontrued by the younger crowd (kids 10 and under), most kids play COD, so I personally wonder how much of an image-killer this could really be. I looked at it more along the lines of Kobe is like you, me, or even Jimmy (when he isn’t making guys look silly on the court), haha. I didn’t think twice about it until I heard of the potential backlash from David Stern. It really boils down to the fact that we live in a pop culture society…
That’s why I think it’s a win for Kobe, and a win for COD to get someone of his stature to promote the game. Let’s all remember…this is Kobe we’re talking about. The man has done a pretty great job of repairing his image and distancing himself from his past transgressions. Plus, I don’t know of many people who wouldn’t think it was cool to imagine him being like the rest of us in his downtime.

Comment by Ken R.

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