Network didn't feel message was compatible with award

Updated: August 8, 2003, 4:43 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- FOX television said Friday that the network omitted part of Kobe Bryant's acceptance speech during the 2003 Teen Choice Awards program that aired Wednesday.

The program was taped Saturday and aired just hours after Bryant appeared in an Eagle, Colo., courtroom for the preliminary hearing in his sexual assault case.

Bryant was accepting the award for favorite male sports figure. Part of his acceptance speech included the claim "an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere."

A FOX spokesman said that the network felt the remark was not suited to accepting his award, and was edited from the broadcast.

The rest of Bryant's remarks did make the show. Those included Bryant saying "we're flying through some dark clouds" now, but that with God's will, "the sun will rise and shine again."

Underscoring Bryant's Teen Choice Awards appearance is the ongoing debate over whether Bryant is using the media and his celebrity status to promote his side of the case.

Bryant's appearance on the show was his latest high-profile sighting since news of his legal problems surfaced in July. Bryant attended ESPN's ESPY Awards ceremony on July 16 -- an appearance that reportedly made Pamela Mackey, one of Bryant's attorneys, consider quitting as part of his legal counsel. Bryant also made headlines with his purchase of a $4 million ring for his wife, Vanessa.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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