Kyrie Irving Suspended Four Games Without Pay For Allegedly Promoting Documentary Containing Antisemitic Material

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets have suspended star player Kyrie Irving for allegedly promoting antisemitic material on his social media account. Irving’s suspension will last four games and he will not be paid, according to the team. Officials say the Nets were taken aback by the player’s alleged unwillingness to set the record straight that he does not hold any antisemitic beliefs after retweeting a book & movie containing the controversial material.

After Irving’s alleged refusal to offer an apology to the media during a post-practice media availability despite it being at the behest of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the player was deemed “unfit” to be around the team. An official statement on the situation was issued by the Nets organization.

“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. 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.”

“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 statement adds. “Accordingly, we are of the view that he is currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.”

Irving later issued an apology to the Jewish community on his Instagram, holding himself accountable for the material he posted. The player claimed that he posted the documentary “without context” and that he was unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic.

“While doing research on YHWH, I posted a Documentary that contained some false anti-Semitic statements, narratives, and language that were untrue and offensive to the Jewish Race/Religion, and I take full accountability and responsibility for my actions. I am grateful to have a big platform to share knowledge and I want to move forward by having an open dialogue to learn more and grow from this.”

“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. 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 want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against Antisemitism by apologizing for posting the documentary without context and a factual explanation outlining the specific beliefs in the Documentary I agreed with and disagreed with. 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. I am no different than any other human being. I am a seeker of truth and knowledge, and I know who I Am.”

The Associated Press has more HERE.