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NBA

Brooklyn Nets suspend Kyrie Irving in wake of anti-semitic controversy

Max Sherry

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| Last updated 

Brooklyn Nets suspend Kyrie Irving in wake of anti-semitic controversy

The Brooklyn Nets have suspended Kyrie Irving following his recent off-court controversy.

Over the past seven days, Irving became embroiled social media saga involving a 2018 movie titled Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America', which Nets team owner Joe Tsai describes as ‘full of anti-Semitic information’.

Irving had tweeted out a link to the film and was widely condemned by the basketball and Jewish community for doing so.

Now, following continued backlash, the Nets have acted upon the public's outrage.

Respected NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news, tweeting: "The Nets have suspended Kyrie Irving."

In the wake of the post, Kyrie was called upon to apologise and did so rather unconvincingly – well, sort of.

No direct 'sorry' was said although he did, however, promise to pledge $500,000 to “causes and organisations that work to eradicate hate.”

“I don’t know how the label becomes justified,” Irving said.

“Just because I post a documentary (link) doesn’t mean I’m anti-semitic. It doesn’t mean I’m automatically standing with everyone that is believing in that.

“I cannot be anti-semitic if I know where I come from.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who is Jewish himself, also spoke on Irving's apology – or rather lack thereof.

“Kyrie Irving made a reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive antisemitic material,” Silver said.

“While we appreciate the fact that he agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to combat anti-semitism and other forms of discrimination, I am disappointed that he has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicise.

“I will be meeting with Kyrie in person in the next week to discuss this situation.”

When pressed on whether he was remorseful following Silver’s commented, Irving said: “I take my responsibility for posting that.

“Some things that were questionable in there, untrue... I didn’t mean to cause any harm.

“I’m not the one that made the documentary.”

The Nets' decision comes amid mounting pressure from the wider NBA community, calling for him to be stood down.

“I think he should have been suspended him,” Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said on NBA on TNT.

“I think Adam should have suspended him. First of all, Adam is Jewish — you can’t take my $40 million and insult my religion.

“You gonna insult me, you have the right, but I have the right to say, ‘You can’t take my $40 million and insult my religion.’ I think the NBA, they made a mistake.

“We’ve suspended people and fined people who have made homophobic slurs. And that was the right thing to do. If you insult the Black community, you should be suspended or fined heavily.”

Barkley added: “I can’t believe we ain’t talking about basketball — we talking about this idiot.

“When you’re somebody as great at basketball as him, people are going to listen to what you say. I blame the NBA, he should have been suspended.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: NBA, Basketball

Max Sherry
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