Irving Suspension Justified for Antisemitic Comments

By Yonnatanne Desta ‘24

On Thursday morning Kyrie Irving, the starting point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, was given a minimum five-game suspension by the Nets after the player declined to walk back antisemitic views that he expressed earlier in the week. Irving did not apologize for publishing the content or strongly criticize the movie that he claimed to have watched on Amazon during his media appearances on Oct. 29 and Nov. 3.

In a statement by the Nets, the team said that they had “made repeated attempts to work with Kyrie Irving to help him comprehend the harm and danger of his words and actions, which began with him disseminating a film containing very distressing antisemitic hate.” Kyrie Irving did apologize on his Instagram account hours after the team’s punishment; however, some think it was a forced statement. Hours later, the Nets made a list of objectives that Irving needed to accept, including condemning the  movie (which Irving did complete). In addition, he needs to give $500,000 donation to anti-hate causes, participate in sensitivity training and antisemitic training, meet with ADL and Jewish leaders, and meet with Joe Tsai to demonstrate understanding.

A day later Nike denounced Irving’s actions and cut ties with the basketball player. They are very strict on racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic comments made by spokesman and people they sponsor to represent there brand, and as a result, Irving’s partnership with Nike was terminated

So far, Kyrie has been moving forward in a positive manner in the list that he needs to complete before being allowed back on the Brooklyn Nets roster. It’s a saddening thing to see one of the great talents of the 2010s continue to get himself in trouble on and off the court. With this latest debacle, fans hope Irving will get his act together and continue to play great basketball while making wiser decisions with what he supports. 

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