The Nets have suspended Kyrie Irving for at least 5 games after the team says the NBA superstar repeatedly failed to fully apologize for promoting an antisemitic film, with the org. saying he’s “currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.”
The team released a statement Thursday night announcing the move … a week after the 30-year-old, 7x NBA All-Star tweeted about a film, Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.
“Over the last several days, we have made repeated attempts to work with Kyrie Irving to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, which began with him publicizing a film containing deeply disturbing antisemitic hate,” the Nets said.
“We believed that taking the path of education in this challenging situation would be the right one and thought that we had made progress with our joint commitment to eradicating hate and intolerance.”
The Anti-Defamation League says the “film promotes beliefs commonly found among antisemitic and extremist factions of the BHI movement.”
However, despite the joint statement Wednesday night where Irving acknowledged hurting the Jewish community and pledging $1 million ($500K from Kyrie, Nets), many people, including commissioner Adam Silver were unmoved by Kyrie’s words.
On Thursday, he met with members of the media, and again refused to directly apologize.
“We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film. This was not the first time he had the opportunity — but failed — to clarify.”
This morning’s media session was clearly the last straw for the franchise … which has been struggling on the court, as well.
“Such failure to disavow antisemitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, is against the values of our organization, and constitutes conduct detrimental to the team. Accordingly, we are of the view that he is currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.”
FYI, Brooklyn has one of the largest Jewish populations in America.
The Nets continued … “We have decided that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct and the suspension period served is no less than five games.”
The Nets will play the Washington Wizards Friday night in D.C. Irving will not be on the floor. If he serves the minimum suspension, he’d be eligible to return against the Clippers on November 12th in Los Angeles.
But, given Kyrie’s hesitation to say sorry, that’s a giant IF.