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Kobe Bryant: What it means to be a #GirlDad

Kobe with Gianna Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kobe Bryant with his daughter Gianna

If you're the proud dad of girls, the chances are you've seen #GirlDad on thousands of pictures of men with their daughters over the past few days.

It's in tribute to the NBA star Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash at the weekend in California alongside his 13-year-old Gianna.

Speaking with with Elle Duncan, from the American broadcaster ESPN, a few years ago he mentioned how much he loved being the father of four girls.

Elle was pregnant when she went to interview him and says, when she told him she was having a girl he responded: "Girls are the best. I would have five more girls if I could. I'm a girl dad."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kobe with his family

Arnell Craig's 25 and has a two year-old daughter and spoke to Radio 1 Newsbeat about it: "Being a dad to a girl means everything. As a father and as a man it builds you into a stronger person."

"I will always let her know that anything is possible that she puts her mind to. I would love for her to become an athlete but it's her life and I'm just a spectator so I will let her decide on anything she wants to do."

Kobe's wife Vanessa said on Instagram: "My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who've shown support and love during this horrific time."

A number of famous people have also been posting #GirlDad in tribute.

Ali Tareen has two daughters, he's from Pakistan but lives in London. He spoke to the BBC's Insaf Abbas on Outside Source World Service Radio: "In Pakistan, especially in the villages, a very common blessing is: 'May God give you seven sons'.

"But when my wife and I were expecting, I prayed every single day to have a daughter. Some older family members would tell me I should pray for a son because I love sports, I can teach my son to play cricket and I can take him to games."

I would say: 'Why wouldn't I teach my daughters cricket? Why wouldn't I take them to games?' Society had placed limits on what fathers and daughters should do, and I wasn't going to have any of it."

Image copyright Ali Tareen
Image caption Ali with his daughter

Marvyn Harrison set up the Dope Black Dads podcast and says #GirlDad is a really positive response to how society should be, but we're not quite there: "We need to be in a place where all dads feel comfortable raising young girls into womanhood and playing active roles."

Kobe was asked once if he wished he had a son to carry on his legacy. His daughter Gianna responded saying that his legacy on the court would be her.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kobe with his daughter Gianna

Marvyn adds: "He was so unfiltered in his approach to being this amazing dad. The video of him coaching his daughter who passed away should make all dads take note. They should treat their daughters with the same passion and vigour as they would their sons."

Kyle Wainscott is dad to a three-year-old little girl: "Kobe was such an inspiring individual on and off the court. He was an admirable father for young fathers like myself to look up to."

Ali, 30 adds: "I can't think of a more special relationship than father and daughter. Girl dads are the luckiest men in the world."

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