NBA

Brooklyn Nets Suspend Kyrie Irving For Minimum Of Five Games

Nov 3, 2022, 6:16 PM | Updated: 6:22 pm
Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)...
Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Brooklyn Nets announced that they’ve suspended star point guard Kyrie Irving for a minimum of five games after he “refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs.”

Brooklyn announced the news in the following statement on Thursday, November 3:

“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. 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.

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. 

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. 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.” – Brooklyn Nets

Earlier in the day, NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement on Irving. Silver shared that the Nets guard “made a reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive antisemitic material” and he would meet with Irving in person in the coming week.

The Nets star failed to apologize after he tweeted out a link to a film that includes anti-Jewish tropes.

Irving posted the link to the film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on Twitter on October 27. The synopsis on Amazon said the film “uncovers the true identity of the Children of Israel.”

He defended his decision to do so on Saturday, then deleted the tweet Sunday after a massive outcry including criticism from Nets owner Joe Tsai and the the Anti-Defamation League, along with a statement from the NBA denouncing all forms of hate speech.

Irving said October 29 he embraced all religions and defiantly defended his right to post whatever he believes.

“I’m not going to stand down on anything I believe in,” Irving said. “I’m only going to get stronger because I’m not alone. I have a whole army around me.”

Former Nets coach Steve Nash said Monday that he looks at the matter as “an opportunity for us to grow and understand new perspectives.”

“I think the organization is trying to take that stance or they may communicate through this, and try to all come out in a better position and with more understanding and more empathy for every side of this debate and situation,” Nash said.

Irving has previously supported the idea of the Earth being flat, recently shared an old clip from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and was unavailable for most of the Nets’ home games last season because he refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as was mandated in New York City.

The Nets then declined to give him a contract extension this summer, meaning Irving could be in his final season with the team.

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Brooklyn Nets Suspend Kyrie Irving For Minimum Of Five Games