On Thursday, Joe Tsai and the Brooklyn Nets came to a final decision to suspend Kyrie Irving without pay for at least the next five games. All this came about after he promoted a film containing anti-semitic tropes on his social media.
Irving forced Tsai’s hand when he refused to condemn the anti-semitic content of the documentary when speaking to reporters on Thursday.
In the midst of all this is the silence from other NBA players.
During Friday’s episode of First Take, ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith explained why other athletes have been largely quiet about this.
“The reason why you’re not hearing from other athletes is cause collectively they are thinking what was this guy thinking of, why in God’s name would he do this!” Smith said.
Shortly after news of the suspension broke, Irving released a statement apologizing to “all Jewish families and communities” offended by his post.
Nets general manager Sean Marks said there are certain steps the organization wants to see Irving take before allowing him to return to the team.
“I think, after anything like this, you would always hope there is a change, a change in feelings and a change in attitude,” Marks said, according to The Athletic.
“The apology is a step in the right direction,” he said. “It’s not enough.”
The controversy in Brooklyn started last week when Irving posted a film called “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on social media. Kyrie stated he wasn’t promoting it, but the book is now a best seller on Amazon.
The movie description on Amazon says the film “uncovers the true identity of the Children of Israel by proving the true ethnicity of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the Sons of Ham, Shem and Japheth.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement Thursday morning saying he plans to meet with Irving next week about “reckless decision” to post a film with antisemitic material.
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