Scandals against a backdrop of anti-Semitism seem to punctuate the news of American cultural life. After music with rapper Kanye West, who was dropped by Adidas for hateful statements against the Jewish community, the NBA world is affected by the Kyrie Irving affair. After refusing to be vaccinated, prevent him from playing last season at home, or claim that the Earth is flat, the head of the Brooklyn Nets this time created controversy by promoting a movie with anti-Semitic content on his social networks. Take a look back at the four welfare actions that put the NBA to shame.
1Kyrie Irving posted a poster of an anti-Semitic movie on his social networks
“Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America”. This is the title of Ronald Dalton Jr’s movie, released in 2018, of which Kyrie Irving shared the poster (and a link to the Amazon site to get it) on Instagram and Twitter, Thursday October 27, despite his outspoken anti -Semitic character. This documentary is the adaptation of an eponymous book released in 2015, specifically explaining that “many famous high-ranking Jews have confessed to worshiping Satan or Lucifer”.
On the night of Friday October 28 to Saturday October 29, the Brooklyn Nets issued a statement condemning “firm” the actions of their player and explains that there is nothing “zero tolerance for the promotion of any form of hate speech”. In the process, the owner of the New York franchise, Joe Tsai, reacted on Twitter, saying himself “failed” by Kyrie Irving. “I want to sit down with him and make sure he understands that this hurts all of us, and as a person of faith, it’s wrong to promote hatred based on race, l “ethnicity or religion. It’s more important than basketball.” , he wrote.
I am disappointed that Kyrie appears to be supporting a movie based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation. I want to sit down and make sure he understands that this hurts us all, and as a person of faith, it is wrong to promote hatred based on race, ethnicity or religion.
—Joe Tsai (@joetsai1999) October 29, 2022
2First explanations and silence from the NBA
In the face of media outcry, the 30-year-old leader defended himself for the first time on Twitter, after deleting his previous publications. “I am an OMNIST and I do not mean to disregard anyone’s religious beliefs”, he said on the evening of Saturday, October 29. “The label of “anti-Semite” attached to me is illogical and does not reflect the reality or reality that I live with every day. I respect and want to learn from all backgrounds and religions”.
It wasn’t enough to put out the fire because after a setback against the Indiana Pacers (125-116), Sunday October 30, Kyrie Irving asked us to stop. “dehumanize” at a press conference. After this new episode, the Brooklyn Nets fired their coach Steve Nash due to insufficient results and the NBA’s silence on the Irving affair is becoming heavier. However, former stars have stepped up to the plate, such as Shaquille O’Neal calls Kyrie Irving a“stupid” or Charles Barkley requesting a suspension from the League.
3Kyrie Irving promised, the NBA boss finally reacted
On Wednesday, Nov. 2, Kyrie Irving and the Nets pledge to donate $500,000 each to associations working for the eradication of hatred and intolerance. In a statement written with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Kyrie Irving acknowledged “the negative impact of [son] message to the Jewish community”no excuse is really formulated. “I do not believe that anything said in the film is true or reflects my morals and principles. I do not intend to hurt any group, race or religion, I just want to be a beacon of truth and light. This brand of anti-Semites that remain with me are illogical and do not reflect the truth or reality that I live every day”, he reasoned.
A week after the affair began, NBA boss Adam Silver finally reacted. “Kyrie Irving made a reckless decision by posting a link to a movie that contains deeply offensive anti-Semitic ideas”, he explained in a press release published on Thursday, November 3. “While we appreciate the fact that he has agreed to work with the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League, to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination, I am disappointed that he has not apologized. doubted and denounced the more specifically repulsive and harmful content conveyed by the film he chose to publicize”.
4The Nets punished Kyrie Irving who eventually apologized
“Disappointed” already “Kyrie refused to state unequivocally that he has no anti-Semitic beliefs, or to acknowledge the film’s specifically hateful content.” in a press briefing, the Nets announced on Friday, November 4, his suspension for at least five games, without pay. “Such a failure to reject anti-Semitism is deeply troubling, goes against the values of our organization and constitutes behavior that is harmful to the team”complained the franchise.
What was Kyrie Irving’s reaction four hours later? “To all the families in the Jewish community that I have hurt, I am deeply sorry for causing you pain, and I apologize for it,” posted the native of Melbourne (Australia) on Instagram. “I would like to clear up any confusion about my position on combating anti-Semitism by apologizing for posting the documentary without context and without a factual explanation outlining the specific beliefs in the documentary with which I agree or not. I have no intention of ignoring the Jewish cultural history of the Holocaust or continued hatred.”.
Although the Brooklyn Nets have yet to acknowledge Kyrie Irving’s apology, his suspension will keep him off the court until November 13. “I will meet with Kyrie in person next week to discuss this situation,” Adam Silver made the promise Thursday, without knowing if punishment from the NBA was on the agenda. On his side, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), announced Thursday to reject Kyrie Irving’s donationconsidering that“After watching the debacle at the press conference, it’s clear that Kyrie doesn’t feel responsible for her actions.”