Following a week-long saga that included interference from the Anti-Defamation League and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the Brooklyn Nets suspended Kyrie Irving on Thursday for at least five games without pay, saying the star guard is “not eligible to contract at this time.” Following his repeated refusal to apologize to the company Post about anti-Semitic movies and books on social media.
Irving, who agreed Wednesday to donate $500,000 to support anti-hate causes in partnership with the ADL, “took responsibility” for the post but did not apologize when he met with reporters Thursday afternoon.
“Over the past few days, we have made repeated attempts to work with Kyrie Irving to get him to understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, beginning with a disturbing anti-Semitic film.” The Nets said in a statement.. “In this challenging environment, we believe that taking the path of education is the right path and we think we have made progress in our collective commitment to end hate and intolerance.”
“We were shocked that when given the opportunity today at the media session, Kerry refused to say he was not anti-Semitic or to unequivocally address the hateful material in the film. This was not the first time he had had the opportunity to explain – but failed -.
The Nets concluded that Irving’s refusal to “decline anti-Semitism when given a clear opportunity” was “deeply disturbing” and “detrimental to the team.”
by message Posted on Instagram late Thursday nightIrving eventually relented and apologized to “all Jewish families and communities who were harmed and harmed by my writing,” admitting that he had been associated with the film “which contained some false anti-Semitic statements, narratives, and language.”
Irving continued: “Initially, I was motivated by being unfairly labeled as anti-Semitic, rather than focusing on the process of healing my Jewish brothers and sisters who were hurt by the hate speech in the documentary. I’d like to clear up any confusion about where I stand by posting the documentary without context, and apologizing for a different belief in the documentary I agree with.
After Irving’s suspension was first broken, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said the nonprofit would not accept Irving’s $500,000 pledge, which was to be matched by the Nets.
“We were optimistic, but after watching the press conference controversy, it’s clear that Kerry feels no responsibility for his actions.” Greenblatt wrote on Twitter. “The ADL cannot in good conscience accept the donation.”
Irving linked to the movie “From Hebrews to Negroes: Awakening Black America” in a social media post last Thursday. When He was interviewed by reporters on Saturday. Irving, who has previously posted on social media about the film’s content and Alex Jones’ “New World Order” conspiracy theory, denied being anti-Semitic, but refused to apologize, saying “history should not be hidden from anyone.” He said he did not do anything illegal or hurt anyone during the heat relay. Irving added that the “New World Order” conspiracy theory is “true.”
Last week, the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association, the Nets and team owner Joe Tye issued statements condemning anti-Semitism. Irving eventually deleted the post with no public comment and no team. Eight supporters sat in court She wore a “Fighting Anti-Semitism” T-shirt to the Indiana Pacers’ win on Monday.
In a joint statement with the Nets and the ADL on Wednesday, Irving said he was “aware of the negative impact my post has had on the Jewish community” and that he “did no harm.”
But Silver felt that wasn’t enough of a response to Irving’s “reckless decision” to link to the film. The commissioner said in a statement Thursday that he was “disappointed.” Irving did not offer an “unqualified apology” or “condemn the obscene and harmful content contained in the film.”
When Irving was given another chance to explain his position Thursday afternoon, he He refused to apologize again..
“Where were you when I was growing up knowing that 300 million of my ancestors were buried in America? Where were the people you asked those same questions when I was a child about the traumatic events of my family history and why I’m proud of where I’m from and why I’m standing here? As I repeat myself, when I say I will not step down, it has nothing to do with dismissing any race or group of people,” Irving said. “I am proud of my heritage and where we are. This connects me to the Jewish community, and I’m here to answer questions about my unforgiveness for something I didn’t create. It was something that I shared and I’m telling everyone that I take responsibility – that’s where I sit.
In order for Irving to return to the court, the Nets said he must satisfy “a series of substantive corrective measures that address the harmful effects of his conduct.” After more than two months of refusing to vaccinate Irving, Brooklyn reversed course and allowed him to return part-time in January.
Irving will miss Brooklyn’s visit of the Washington Wizards on Friday and will be sidelined until at least November 12. His first possible return is a November 13 game against the Lakers in Los Angeles.
The 30-year-old averaged 26.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists and is making $36.9 million in the final year of his contract. Under NBA rules, this ban would cost Irving at least $1.25 million in salary.
Consumed by Irving’s controversial behavior and mired in a slow start, the The Nets parted ways with coach Steve Nash. on Tuesday. The 2-6 Brooklyn Nationals have explored the possibility of replacing the Boston Celtics’ Im Udoka, who is serving a season-long suspension for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a female employee.
After Brooklyn parted ways with Nash, Irving finished with four points on 2-for-12 shooting from the field in Tuesday’s 108-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls, the fewest of his four-year Nets tenure.