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Kyrie Irving is near the finish line of completing the process needed to rejoin the Brooklyn Nets. As previously reported, Irving faced backlash for sharing a link to the film “Hebrews To Negros: Wake Up Black America” with his four million Twitter followers. The movie is accused of spewing several “Jewish stereotypes and antisemitic tropes.” Although he received a negative response from fans, the championship basketball player initially defended his decision to share the post, claiming he respects all people and isn’t “here to be divisive.” After facing more serious repercussions he did eventually offer an apology. However, he was still temporarily suspended from his team for promoting the film.
According to sources, the All-Star guard could be returning to the Brooklyn Nets as soon as Sunday (Nov. 20) to play against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Barclays Center. Kyrie Irving will be missing his eighth consecutive game today (Nov. 17) but is reportedly closing in on the end of his suspension after two weeks.
On Wednesday night (Nov. 16) Tamika Tremaglio, the National Basketball Players Association executive director, who has worked closely with Irving, said:
“Kyrie is continuing his journey of dialogue and education. He has been grappling with the full weight of the impact of his voice and actions, particularly in the Jewish community. Kyrie rejects antisemitism in any form, and he’s dedicated to bettering himself and increasing his level of understanding. He plans to continue this journey well into the future to ensure that his words and actions align with his pursuit of truth and knowledge.”
The 30-year-old faced a consequence of a minimum five-game suspension without pay after he was asked to apologize and initially declined. The Nets demanded that Irving complete six actions before returning to the team, which includes; apologizing and condemning the movie, a $500,000 donation to anti-hate causes, sensitivity training, antisemitic training, meeting with ADL and Jewish leaders.
LEBRON JAMES: KYRIE WAS WRONG - But Punishment's Excessive - Agree?
9:26 AM PT -- Joe Tsai says after meeting with Kyrie Irving this week, he, too, fully believes Irving is not antisemitic.
The Nets owner tweeted Friday morning that he chatted with Irving and the basketball player's family on Thursday -- and said of it all, "It's clear to me that Kyrie does not have any beliefs of hate towards Jewish people or any group."
Tsai added, "The Nets and Kyrie, together with the NBA and NBPA, are working constructively toward a process of forgiveness, healing and education."
Still no word yet on when Irving's suspension will be lifted ... but all signs appear to be pointing toward it being sooner than later.
Following a meeting between Adam Silver and Kyrie Irving this week ... the NBA commissioner now says he has "no doubt" that the Nets star is not antisemitic.
The Association's honcho and the controversial Brooklyn point guard caught up on Tuesday ... and while Silver declined to get into the specifics of their chat during an interview with the New York Times on Thursday ... he did say he came away from the meeting sure that Irving was not full of hate.
"He's someone I've known for a decade," Silver told the outlet, "and I've never heard an antisemitic word from him or, frankly, hate directed at any group."
Silver requested the meeting with Irving after the basketball player had tweeted out a linkto "Hebrew to Negroes: Wake Up Black America!" -- a film filled with antisemitic tropes.
The commish had called Irving's decision to press send "reckless" ... while blasting him for his refusal to immediately apologize. Irving was eventually hit with an indefinite ban from the Nets -- and ultimately said he was sorry.
Silver admitted the league and the Nets should have acted sooner regarding a suspension for Irving over it all ... telling the NYT, "We may have been able to get there faster. I accept that criticism."
But, he did say he believed both the Nets and the league got the suspension right in the end.
Irving is eligible to come off the ban later this week -- though it's unclear if that will actually happen ... as Brooklyn has imposed a myriad of conditions the 30-year-old must meet in order to return to the floor.
Silver also took aim at Amazon during his talk with the NY Times ... clearly believing the film Irving tweeted out shouldn't have a place in the org.'s marketplace.
For its part, Amazon has not yet removed the film ... and has not commented on the situation.
Originally Published -- 6:13 AM PT
LeBron James Says Kyrie Irving ‘Caused Some Harm to A Lot of People’
According to Shams Charania, some of the stipulations included sensitivity training, antisemitic training and meetings with Jewish leaders.
James clearly feels it's all too much ... adding, "Help him learn- but he should be playing. What he’s asked to do to get back on the floor I think is excessive IMO. He’s not the person that’s being portrayed of him."
For his part, Irving did finally apologize ... and, per Charania, had a 'productive' meetingwith NBA commissioner Adam Silver over it all earlier this week.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James says former teammate Kyrie Irving “caused some harm to a lot of people.”
Irving missed the first of several Brooklyn Nets games Friday after he was suspended for comments regarding his tweet linking to an antisemitic documentary.
Speaking to reporters at a post-game press conference after the Lakers lost to the Utah Jazz on Friday, James said: “I believe what Kyrie did caused some harm to a lot of people. He has since, over the last — today, or was it yesterday — he apologized. But he caused some harm.
“It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how tall you are, what position you’re in — if you are promoting or soliciting, or saying harmful things to any community that harm people, then I don’t respect it. I don’t condone it.”
The Nets suspended Irving Thursday after he initially doubled down on his decision to share the content on his Twitter account. The star point guard issued an apology hours later on his verified Instagram account, in which he said he took full accountability for his action
“To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize,” Irving wrote. “I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the Documentary.
“I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all,” Irving continued.
On Friday, criticism of Irving continued to mount with Nike suspending its relationship with the NBA star.
“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” Nike said in a statement to CNN. “To that end, we’ve made the decision to suspend our relationship with Kyrie Irving effective immediately and will no longer launch the Kyrie 8. We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”
The company’s move comes after Irving defended his decision to share a link to the 2018 film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” last week. The movie, based on Ronald Dalton’s book of the same name, has been blasted by civil rights groups for its antisemitism.
Reporters asked Irving earlier Thursday — before he posted his apology — if he holds antisemitic beliefs or if he was sorry. At the time, he replied saying he respects “all walks of life” and that he didn’t mean to cause any harm.
The Nets later said they were “dismayed” when the player “refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film,” during a media session.
“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,” the Nets said in their statement before Irving apologized.
The team also said they made repeated attempts to help Irving “understand the harm and danger of his words and actions.”
Irving’s suspension without pay meant he did not play in Friday’s game against the Washington Wizards. The suspension will last for at least four additional games, and Irving is also required to satisfy “a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct,” the Nets said.
When asked Friday if there was any consideration of releasing Irving, Nets general manager Sean Marks replied, “No. Not at this particular time.”
“There is going to be some remedial steps and measures that have been put in place for him to obviously seek some counseling … from dealing with some anti-hate and some Jewish leaders within our community,” Marks said while speaking to reporters before the Nets-Wizards game.
“He’s going to have to sit down with them, he’s going to have to sit down with the organization after this, and we’ll evaluate and see if this is the right opportunity to bring him back,” Marks added.
Irving’s Nets teammate Kevin Durant described this week’s matters as “unnecessary” and expressed his belief that the team could have “kept quiet” about Irving’s comments.
“I ain’t here to judge nobody or talk down on nobody … I just didn’t like anything that went on. I feel like it was all unnecessary,” Durant said about Irving’s team-issued suspension during the Nets’ pre-game availability on Friday. “I feel like we could have just kept playing basketball and kept quiet as an organization. I just don’t like none of it.”
Asked whether he thought the suspension was unfair, Durant said, “I believe and trust in the organization to do what’s right.”
Shortly after his media availability, Durant tweeted, “Just wanna clarify the statements I made at shootaround, I see some people are confused..I don’t condone hate speech or anti-semitism, I’m about spreading love always.”
“Our game Unites people and I wanna make sure that’s at the forefront,” he added.
|Apology comes after swift backlash|
Irving’s remarks during the media session with reporters Thursday have escalated the controversy.
When asked if he was apologizing, he said, “I didn’t mean to cause any harm. I’m not the one that made the documentary.”
Asked if he was surprised by the reaction, Irving said, “I take my full responsibility, again I’ll repeat it, for posting something on my Instagram or Twitter that may have had some unfortunate falsehoods in it,” Irving replied.
Asked if he had any antisemitic beliefs, Irving responded: “I respect all walks of life. I embrace all walks of life. That’s where I sit.”
Pressed further to answer yes or no to a question on whether Irving had any antisemitic beliefs, he replied: “I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from.
When Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, learned of how the NBA star answered that question, he pointed out that Irving has “a lot of work to do.”
“The answer to the question ‘Do you have any antisemitic beliefs’ is always ‘NO’ without equivocation. We took @KyrieIrving at his word when he said he took responsibility, but today he did not make good on that promise,” Greenblatt wrote.
After Irving was suspended Thursday, the ADL refused to accept a $500,000 donation that Irving and the Nets had previously announced. The ADL’s decision to decline the donation was before Irving apologized late Thursday.
The star’s comments also garnered reproach from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who said he was “disappointed” in Irving.
“Kyrie Irving made a reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive antisemitic material,” Silver said in a statement before Irving apologized.
The controversy comes as antisemitism has been on the rise in the US over the past few years. At least 2,717 antisemitic incidents were reported in the US in 2021, an increase from 942 such incidents in 2015, according to the ADL.
Irving has run into controversy in recent years that has affected his playing time. Last season, Irving did not play in many of Brooklyn’s home games because he was not vaccinated against Covid-19, which was a hindrance to playing in indoor arenas due to a New York City workplace vaccine mandate. The rule was later lifted and he returned to Barclays Center in March.