Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown Speaks Out Against Nets Decision To Suspend Kyrie Irving

NBA: Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown, who is also the vice president of the NBA Players Association, gave his thoughts on the Brooklyn Nets and its decision to suspend Kyrie Irving. Brown is opposed to the suspension, believing that Irving is not antisemitic and that the situation was just the player making a mistake. Irving also serves as vice president of the NBAPA Executive Committee.

Brown voiced his thoughts about Irving to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic,” he said. “I don’t think people in our governing bodies think he’s antisemitic. He made a mistake.”

While he does not agree with the team’s decision, Brown also said he can empathize with the importance of showing intolerance to hate speech and antisemitic views.

“We understand from an outside perspective how important sensitivity is to not condone hate speech and not condone anything of that nature,” Brown said. “It’s sensitivity to the dialect around that. We don’t want to stand up for somebody in order to not condemn hate speech, but I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic. And hopefully the NBA feels the same way.”

Brown is not the only one to share his thoughts on the Irving situation, with another league official going as far as to question the player’s future in the NBA. One official believes that Irving has played his last game in the NBA. An NBA general manager reportedly told Sam Amick of The Athletic, “I think Kyrie might not play in the NBA again.”

Additionally, the team is requiring Irving to complete six tasks before he is permitted to return to the team this season.

Those six tasks include apologizing or condemning the movie he promoted on social media, donating $500,000 to anti-hate causes and completing sensitivity training. Additionally, the player must also complete antisemitic training, meet with the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish leaders and meet with owner Joe Tsai to demonstrate a better understanding of the topic. The next time he can return to the court if he completes the six tasks will be on November 13th against the Los Angeles Lakers.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who is reportedly Jewish, has demanded to meet with Irving this week. NBPA VP and Boston Celtic forward Grant Williams said the NBPA will be holding a meeting. Williams talked to MassLive about the pending meeting, and how the expediency of the Nets and NBA adequately handling the issue have left them with little to discuss on that subject.

“I think we will, but currently there are a lot of matters as well. I think we’ll get together as a group potentially — everything has been through the team. It has not been a league issue to this point. It hasn’t been an NBA/NBPA issue. The Nets and the league have taken care of that and dealing with Kyrie and the process there. We don’t have much control on that matter.”

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