Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets looks on from the bench during the game against the Chicago Bulls at in New York City on Nov. 1. Photo: Dustin Satloff/Getty Images
The Brooklyn Nets announced Thursday they have suspended Kyrie Irving without pay for at least five games over his response to his posting a link to a film that contained antisemitic material.
Driving the news: “Over the last several days, we have made repeated attempts to work with Kyrie Irving to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, which began with him publicizing a film containing deeply disturbing antisemitic hate,” the Nets said in an emailed statement.
The suspension came hours after NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Irving did not apologize for the post.What they’re saying: “We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film. This was not the first time he had the opportunity — but failed —to clarify,” the Nets said in their statement.
“We believed that taking the path of education in this challenging situation would be the right one and thought that we had made progress with our joint commitment to eradicating hate and intolerance.”Context: Irving has faced backlash after posting a link, which has since been taken it down, to the 2018 movie, which is based on a book that is full of antisemitic tropes.
Worth noting: In response to the backlash, Irving and the Brooklyn Nets said Wednesday they’ll each donate $500,000 to the Anti-Defamation League to promote better educational opportunities and raise awareness about societal challenges.
Irving said in that statement, “I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day.”The bottom line: “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. “Accordingly, we are of the view that he is currently 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.” Editor’s note: This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.