DThe Brooklyn Nets have suspended controversial basketball star Kyrie Irving for at least five NBA games. Irving missed the opportunity in a press round to make it absolutely clear that he had no anti-Semitic beliefs. “Failing to distance yourself from anti-Semitism on such a clear occasion is deeply disturbing,” the Nets statement said Thursday (local time). This is contrary to the organization’s values and Irving is currently unfit to be associated with the Nets. Only after the suspension did Irving publicly apologize in an Instagram post.
NBA boss expresses criticism
The 30-year-old recently shared a link via Twitter to the film entitled “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America”, which was criticized as anti-Semitic and which the US media also classified as racist and misogynistic, homophobic and Islamophobic. On Wednesday, the Nets and Irving released a statement each announcing a $500,000 donation to an anti-discrimination organization. Irving, who initially denied the allegations, avoided a direct apology and was sharply criticized for it by NBA boss Adam Silver on Thursday. He was disappointed, wrote Silver, and announced an interview with the professional.
After his suspension, Irving posted a comment on Instagram apologizing for the pain he caused Jews. “I initially reacted emotionally at being unfairly labeled as an anti-Semite instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish brothers and sisters who were hurt by hateful remarks in the documentary,” Irving wrote.
The basketball professional is not the first time in the criticism. The star player missed numerous Nets games because of his refusal to be vaccinated against Corona.