Report: NBAPA Likely To File Grievance If Kyrie Irving Is Not Reinstated

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

The four game suspension for Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is over, but the player is still not allowed to return to action yet. Irving’s suspension came after the player retweeted “Hebrew to Negroes: Wake Up Black America!” on his official Twitter account. The film contained substantial amounts of antisemitic material, which the veteran failed to disavow when initially speaking to media. According to NBA Insider Marc Stein, the NBA Players Association is likely to make a move on Irving’s behalf should the situation not resolve itself.

“Word is Irving is itching to get back on the floor and there have been rumbles for days that the National Basketball Players Association, at some stage, could move to file a grievance on Irving’s behalf if the various parties involved can’t reach a resolution on a return timetable,” Stein wrote.

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.

Players around the league have voiced their disagreements with how the Nets chose to handle this situation, including Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown. Brown is also the vice president of the NBPA. Brown voiced his thoughts about Irving to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. The Celtics star also alluded to the possibility of the union filing an appeal on the suspension, due to multiple players allegedly expressing discomfort at the imposed terms for Irving’s return.

“I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic,” Brown said. “I don’t think people in our governing bodies think he’s antisemitic. He made a mistake.”

“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.”

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