Last week, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving shared a link on social media to the film, “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which contains various antisemitic tropes. Upon repeated opportunities during media availabilities over the following week, Irving refused to concretely or definitively disavow antisemitism, including Thursday, when he avoided directly answering whether he holds any antisemitic beliefs.
Kyrie Irving is asked if he has any anti-Semitic beliefs: pic.twitter.com/hHI8FFqMbs— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) November 3, 2022
Following that media session, along with all of Irving’s other actions throughout the past week, Brooklyn has suspended him “for at least five games without pay.” In their statement, the Nets said they made efforts to help Irving understand the harm behind his words and actions.
“We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film,” the statement reads. “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 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.”