Kyrie Irving suspended by the Nets for 5 games for “not disavowing anti-Semitism”

  • Nets suspend Kyrie Irving for a minimum of 5 games for “not disavowing anti-Semitism”.
  • Irving shared a link to a movie containing anti-Semitic tropes over the weekend
  • Although Irving said he meant no harm and took responsibility for sharing the film, he avoided apologizing or speaking out against anti-Semitism.

The Brooklyn Nets announced Thursday that star point guard Kyrie Irving will be suspended for “no less than five games” for his “failure to disavow anti-Semitism.”

Over the weekend, Irving shared a link on his Twitter and Instagram to a movie called “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.” Irving did not post any caption with the link.

The film, which can be viewed on Amazon, contains anti-Semitic tropes and contains quotes attributed to Adolf Hitler.

On Saturday, after linking the film on his social media, Irving had a tense exchange with ESPN’s Nick Friedell in which he disagreed with the idea that he was promoting the film. Irving has repeatedly defended sharing the film, saying he would not “renounce” his beliefs, although he said he was not targeting any race or religion.

On Wednesday, the Nets released a joint statement with the Anti-Defamation League announcing that the team and Irving would both donate $500,000 to “causes and organizations working to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities.” communities”.

In the statement, Irving acknowledged the “harm” he had caused the Jewish community but refrained from apologizing.

“I stand against all forms of hate and oppression and stand firm with communities who are marginalized and impacted every day,” Irving said in the statement. “I am aware of the negative impact of my message on the Jewish community and I take responsibility for it. I do not believe that everything said in the documentary is true or reflects my morals and my principles. I am a human being who learns from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen.So from my family and I, we did not want to harm any group, race or religion of people, and only wish to be a beacon of truth and light.

The Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported that Irving did not personally meet with the Anti-Defamation League and instead sent his father and stepmother/agent.

On Thursday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver expressed his disappointment at Irving’s lack of apology in his own statement.

“I am disappointed that [Irving] has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the despicable and harmful content contained in the film he has chosen to publicize,” reads Silver’s statement. “I will be meeting Kyrie in person the next week to discuss this situation.”

After not speaking to the media earlier in the week, Irving addressed reporters on Thursday and again avoided apologizing in another tense session.

Irving said he took responsibility for sharing the film but said he did not create it.

“When I tell myself I’m not going to retire, it has nothing to do with rejecting another race or group of people, I’m just proud of my heritage and what we’ve been through. “, Irving said. “The fact that this pinned me against the Jewish community, and I’m here to answer questions about whether I’m sorry or not, about something that I didn’t create, that’s something that I shared and I tell everyone that I’m taking responsibility, so that’s where I’m sitting.”

When asked if he had any anti-Semitic beliefs, Irving said: “I don’t know how the label becomes justified…I respect all walks of life and I embrace all walks of life. It’s is where I’m sitting… I can’t be anti-Semitic if I know where I’m from.”

The Nets said in a statement that Irving was “unfit” to play for the team.

“We were appalled today, when given the opportunity in a media briefing, that Kyrie refused to state unequivocally that he held no anti-Semitic beliefs, nor to acknowledge specific hateful elements in the film,” the statement read. “It was not the first time that he had the opportunity – but failed – to clarify.

“Such a failure to disavow anti-Semitism when clearly given the opportunity to do so is deeply troubling, goes against the values ​​of our organization and constitutes conduct detrimental to the team. Accordingly, we are d believe he is currently unsuitable to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.”

The Nets’ statement suggests Irving’s suspension could last longer if he doesn’t apologize for sharing the film.

“We have decided that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective corrective measures which address the adverse impact of his conduct and the period of suspension served is not less than five games. .”

Speaking on ‘SportsCenter’, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on “SportsCenter said Irving’s future in Brooklyn is uncertain.

“He’s going to have to fix that. I think right now his future in Brooklyn, it’s fair to say, is unclear.”

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