Nets suspend Kyrie Irving for refusing to deny anti-Semitic beliefs


After a storied week-long intervention by the Anti-Defamation League and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the Brooklyn Nets suspended Kyrie Irving for at least five games without pay on Thursday, arguing that the All-Star guard “Currently not suitable for contact” group after he repeatedly refused to apologise for social media posts about anti-Semitic films and books.

Irving, who agreed on Wednesday to donate $500,000 to support anti-hate causes in partnership with ADL, said he was “responsible” for the post but made no apology during a meeting with reporters Thursday afternoon.

“Over the past few days, we’ve made repeated attempts to work with Kyrie Irving to help him understand the dangers and dangers of his words and actions, which began with him promoting a film that contained deeply disturbing anti-Semitic hatred,” The Nets said in a statement“We believe it is right to take the path of education in these challenging circumstances and believe we are making progress in our shared commitment to ending hatred and intolerance.

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“Today, when we had the opportunity at the media conference, we were dismayed that Carey refused to make it clear that he had no anti-Semitic beliefs or to acknowledge the specific hate material in the film. This is not the first time he has had the opportunity— – but failed to – clarify.”

The Nets concluded that Irving’s refusal to “deny anti-Semitism when given a clear opportunity” was “deeply disturbing” and constituted “conduct detrimental to the team.”

In a message posted to Instagram late Thursday, Owen finally breathed a sigh of relief and “apologised to all the Jewish families and communities hurt and impacted by my post,” acknowledging his relationship with a video that “contains some false antithesis.” Jewish speech, narrative and untruthful and offensive language.”

Owen continued: “I initially reacted to the sentiment of being unfairly labelled anti-Semitic rather than focusing on the recovery process of my Jewish siblings who were hurt by the hate speech in the documentary. I Wanting to clear up any confusion about my stance on fighting anti-Semitism, I apologize for posting the documentary without context and outlining a factual explanation of the specific beliefs in the documentary with which I agree.”

After news of Irving’s suspension first broke, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said the nonprofit would not accept Irving’s $500,000 pledge, which would be provided by the Nets.

“We were optimistic, but after seeing the press conference fiasco, it was clear that Carey was not responsible for his actions,” he said. Greenblatt tweeted“ADL cannot accept his donation in good conscience.”

Irving related to the film “Hebrew to Black: Awakening Black America” ​​in a social media post last Thursday. Asked by reporters on Saturday about the content of the film and previous social media posts about Alex Jones’ “New World Order” conspiracy theory, Owen denied he was anti-Semitic but declined to apologize, saying “historical” It should not be hidden from anyone.” In the heated exchange, he said he did nothing illegal and did not harm anyone. Owen added that the New World Order conspiracy theory is “real.”

Over the past week, the NBA, National Basketball Players Association, Nets and team owner Tsai Chongxin issued statements against anti-Semitism. Irving eventually deleted the post without any public comment, and eight fans sat courtside in T-shirts that read “Fighting Anti-Semitism” during the Nets’ win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday.

In a joint statement with the Nets and ADL on Wednesday, Irving said he was “aware of the negative impact of my position on the Jewish community” and had “no intention of harm.”

But Silver felt that the response to Owen’s “reckless decision” to connect to the film was insufficient. The commissioner said in a statement Thursday that he was “disappointed” that Irving did not issue an “unreserved apology” or “denounce the vile and harmful content contained in the film.”

When Irving had another chance to clarify his position on Thursday afternoon, he refusing to apologize again

“Where did you find my 300 million ancestors buried in America when I was a child? Where did you ask the same question when I was a child about traumatic events in my family history, I Proud of where I came from and why am I proud to be here? When I repeat myself saying I’m not going to step down, it has nothing to do with firing any other race and group,” Irving said. “I’m just proud of my heritage and what we’ve been through. In fact, it makes me turn against the Jewish community, and I’m here to answer the question about whether I’m sorry for what I didn’t create. Here’s what I share, I tell everyone I’m responsible – that’s where I sit.”

In order for Irving to return to the game, the Nets said he must meet “a series of objective remedies to address the detrimental effects of his actions.” Brooklyn expelled Irving for more than two months last season after he refused to get a vaccine, then reversed course and allowed him to return on a part-time basis in January.

Irving will miss Brooklyn’s visit to the Washington Wizards on Friday and will be sidelined until at least November. 12. The earliest he can come back is in November. Game 13 against the Lakers in Los Angeles.

The 30-year-old is averaging 26.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists and is making $36.9 million in the final year of his contract this season. Under NBA rules, the suspension will cost Irving at least $1.25 million in salary.

The Nets parted ways with head coach Steve Nash on Tuesday due to Irving’s controversial behavior and a slow start. Brooklyn, 2-6, has explored the possibility of replacing Nash with Boston Celtics’ Ime Udoka, who was suspended for a season for an inappropriate relationship with a female staff member.

After Brooklyn parted ways with Nash, Irving looked lost in Tuesday’s 108-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls, shooting 2-for-12 and scoring four points in his four years with the Nets. At least once during the term.

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