Kyrie Irving Suspended By Brooklyn Nets After Tweeting Link to Antisemitic Film – NBC New York

Kyrie Irving has been suspended without pay by the Brooklyn Nets after tweeting a link to an antisemitic film, which drew criticism and ire from around the league and beyond.

“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 team said in a statement released Thursday evening. “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.”

However, the team said that they were “dismayed” when Irving did not unequivocally state he has no antisemitic beliefs while speaking with the media earlier in the day, or even acknowledge the “specific hateful material” the film contains.

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

The team said that the suspension will be no less than five games.

Nets owner Joe Tsai was among the many who voiced anger at Irving for posting a link to the film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on his Twitter feed last week.

“I do not believe everything said in the documentary was true or reflects my morals and principles,” Irving said. “I am a human being learning from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen .”

Kyrie Irving has quite the history with the Boston Celtics and the NBA.

It was just a day ago that Irving said he opposed all forms of hate, and he and the team would donate $500,000 toward groups that work to eradicate it.

While not explicitly apologizing, Irving took responsibility for the negative impact on the Jewish community that was caused by his appearing to support an antisemitic work, as the Nets and their star guard worked to soothe the anger that had been directed at them since Irving’s Twitter post and refusal to apologize for it.

“I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” Irving said in a joint statement with the Nets and Anti-Defamation League. “I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility.”

“I am a human being learning from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen,” he added. “So from my family and I, we meant no harm to any one group, race or religion of people, and wish to only be a beacon of truth and light.”

Irving hadn’t spoken publicly since Saturday, when he defiantly defended his right to post about material he believes.

He didn’t talk to reporters after either of the Nets’ home games since — one of them featuring fans wearing “Fight Antisemitism” shirts as they sat courtside.

“There is no room for antisemitism, racism, false narratives or misguided attempts to create animosity and hate,” said Sam Zussman, the CEO of BSE Global, parent company of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. “Now, more than ever, there is a pressing need to ensure education in these areas. We are putting our prior statements into practice because actions speak louder than words.”

Irving and the Nets will work with the ADL to develop inclusive educational programming to combat all forms of bigotry and antisemitism.

General manager Sean Marks said Tuesday that the Nets had been in discussions with the ADL on the proper way to respond to the fallout involving Irving, who was not punished by the team or the NBA.

“At a time when antisemitism has reached historic levels, we know the best way to fight the oldest hatred is to both confront it head-on and also to change hearts and minds,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.

“With this partnership, ADL will work with the Nets and Kyrie to open dialogue and increase understanding,” Greenblatt added. “At the same time, we will maintain our vigilance and call out the use of anti-Jewish stereotypes and tropes – whatever, whoever, or wherever the source – as we work toward a world without hate.”

The Nets added that they and the WNBA’s New York Liberty would host a series of community conversations at Barclays Center in partnership with ADL and other national civil rights organizations and local community associations.

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