The NBA franchise of the Brooklyn Nets has decided: the New York basketball club suspended, Thursday, November 3, for at least five games, its star Kyrie Irving, the latter having refused to apologize after promoting a character film anti-semitic.
“We were appalled [jeudi]when given the opportunity in front of the press, that Kyrie refused to state unequivocally that he has no anti-Semitic beliefs and to acknowledge the specific hateful content in the film”the Brooklyn franchise lamented in a statement.
“Such a failure to disavow anti-Semitism is deeply troubling, goes against the values of our organization and constitutes conduct detrimental to the team”added the Nets, for which Kyrie Irving cannot therefore decently “no longer be associated with the club”. This suspension “will continue as long as the player does not remedy the negative impact of his conduct”they concluded.
Last Thursday, the Nets star posted on Twitter and Instagram a poster of Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America with a link to the Amazon site to rent or buy it. Directed in 2018 by Ronald Dalton Jr, this documentary is adapted from an eponymous book dating from 2015 in which it is written that “many famous high-ranking Jews” have ” admitted “ have “worship Satan or Lucifer”.
apology message on instagram
A week after the events, the NBA ended up deploring and condemning the player’s actions and attitude. “Kyrie made a reckless decision by posting a link to a film containing deeply offensive anti-Semitic ideas”said league boss Adam Silver, thinking himself “disappointed that he did not unreservedly apologize or more specifically denounce the vile and harmful content conveyed by the film he chose to release”. Adam Silver said he intends “to meet Kyrie Irving in person sometime next week to discuss this situation”the question now being whether he will in turn take a sanction.
The person concerned, who has since removed his controversial posts, had simply replied by saying that he took ” the responsibility “ of his remarks, acknowledging that ” some things [étaient] dubious therein, false”. “I didn’t mean to hurt. But I am not the one who made the documentary”he defended himself, before being more offensive: “Where were you when I was a child and learned of the traumatic events in my family history? »
A few hours after the announcement of his suspension by his club, Kyrie Irving apologized in a message posted on the social network Instagram. “To all Jewish families and communities who are hurt and affected by my message, I am deeply sorry for causing you pain and I apologize,” he writes, assuring not to have had “no intention of disrespecting any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuating hatred. »
$500,000 donation refused
On Wednesday, he had contented himself, in a press release, with admitting that his approach had had a ” negative impact “ on the Jewish community, while pledging to donate $500,000 to associations working to eradicate hatred and intolerance, including the ADL, a non-governmental organization that fights against all forms of anti-Semitism. However, the latter refused the sum of money on Thursday evening.
Many voices have been raised in recent days, both to condemn the actions of the star and to castigate the passivity of the league, yet at the forefront of the fight against racism. Legend Shaquille O’Neal called Irving a” idiot “and Charles Barkley, another emblematic player, protested that the NBA did not suspend him.
“This label of anti-Semite that is stuck on me is not justified and does not reflect the reality in which I live every day. I embrace all backgrounds and all religions.defended the player, who had already stood out in September by relaying on Instagram a message from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones talking about the ” new world order “.
“Just because I post a link to a documentary doesn’t mean I’m anti-Semitic and automatically on the side of everyone who is. I am proud of who I am and I am able to reject all the labels you put on me because I study”he continued, rebellious.
This controversy echoes the case of Kanye West, suspended from Twitter and Instagram after writing that he was going to attack Jews. The rapper, who says he suffers from bipolar disorder, saw several brands, such as Adidas, break their respective partnerships with him, and several athletes, such as Celtics winger Jaylen Brown, decided to no longer be represented by his agency, Donda. Sports. The positions of Kyrie Irving, 30, are regularly debated. During the Covid-19 crisis, the Nets’ number 11 had refused to be vaccinated and had already been dismissed by the franchise at the start of last season. He had also claimed, a few years ago, that the Earth was flat.