The Brooklyn Nets have suspended PG Kyrie Irving for at least five games. Here’s a full statement from the Nets.
Irving had several opportunities to explain his promotion of the film he viewed which carried anti-Semitic rhetoric, but decided to avoid the question altogether. The point guard instead lashed out at the gathered media, accusing the group of “dehumanizing him” and saying his platform wasn’t as big as the media made it out to be. The Nets and league didn’t make much of it outside of a few statements which said a lot without really saying anything.
The Nets and Irving eventually released a joint statement pledging $1 million towards causes promoting organizations who work to stop hate speech and discrimination but the point guard wouldn’t vocalize that statement when asked in person by gathered media. Here’s a clip from earlier in the day.
Kyrie Irving is asked if he has any anti-Semitic beliefs: pic.twitter.com/hHI8FFqMbs— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) November 3, 2022
The ADL would go on to issue a statement saying it cannot accept Irving’s $500,000 of the donation, saying the point guard feels no accountability for his actions.
The ADL is no longer accepting the $500,000 from Kyrie Irving, per the organization’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) November 4, 2022
“After watching the debacle of a press conference, it’s clear that Kyrie feels no accountability for his actions. ADL cannot in good conscience accept his donation.”
For Irving to return the court after five games, he’ll have to complete a series of tasks showing he has learned from this incident. One of those will likely be issuing a true apology, something he hasn’t been willing to do. Another will likely be meeting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who released a statement condemning Irving’s “reckless” behavior. It is important to note Silver is Jewish.
If Irving is only suspended for five games, he will miss Brooklyn’s contests against the Wizards, Hornets, Mavericks, Knicks and Clippers. We’ll see if that’s the extent of his suspension or if he keeps sitting out. From what we know about Irving, he’s very headstrong about his beliefs and is willing to put them above his teammates and franchise.