Watch: Kobe Bryant Speaks At Trayvon Martin Rally In Los Angeles

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By: Iyana Robertson / July 20, 2014

On the one-year anniversary of George Zimmerman’s acquittal of the murder of Trayvon Martin, Kobe Bryant served as the guest speaker at a rally in Crenshaw, Los Angeles. After previously sparking controversy on the topic, he highlighted his troubles as an NBA player and explained why they paled in comparison to that of Trayvon’s parents.

“When you look at those challenges in a vacuum, you feel like they’re the most important, the most significant things in the world that are going on when you look at them in isolation,” Bryant said. “However, when you step outside of that, and you look at Sybrina and Tracy and what they had to go through as a family, and what they’ve come out of, that’s true adversity. And that’s responding to true conflict and being true inspirations.

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Bryant also offered an encouraging message to the young people in the audience, advising them on finding and pursuing their passions.

“And the reason why that is so important is because once you find what you’re passionate about, everything else in your life lines up,” he explained. “Everything makes sense. You wake up in the morning and you have an absolute purpose of what you’re here to do and what you’re here to accomplish.”

Assuming responsibility as a public figure for using their influence to spread awareness, Bryant also encouraged the adults in the audience to mentor and guide the children. Watch his speech at the Trayvon Martin rally in the video above, courtesy of Karen Civil.