Kyrie Irving Fails to Return From Suspension

Brooklyn Nets point guard missed his 6th game Sunday
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2022 12:30 AM CDT
Updated Nov 14, 2022 5:27 AM CST
Kyrie Irving Suspended Over Anti-Semitic Video
Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving speaks before the team's NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
UPDATE Nov 14, 2022 5:27 AM CST

Kyrie Irving's suspension was to last at least five games, meaning he could have returned for the Brooklyn Nets game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night. But he didn't, making that the sixth game he's missed, and Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said Sunday, "I'm just going to continue to go day-by-day," offering no update on when Irving might return. The Nets' next game is Tuesday, the AP reports. Nets owner Joe Tsai and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver both recently said they met with Irving and don’t think he is anti-Semitic. (Meanwhile, Nike cut ties with him.)

Nov 4, 2022 12:30 AM CDT

When Kyrie Irving had not apologized for posting a link to an anti-Semitic video by Thursday, the Brooklyn Nets announced the point guard has been suspended without pay for a minimum of five games. In a statement posted on Twitter, the team said it had made "repeated attempts" to help Irving understand "the harm and danger of his words and actions," only to be "dismayed" when Irving was given the opportunity during a media session Thursday to "unequivocally" state he holds no anti-Semitic views—and he "refused" to do so. This was not the first time he's declined an opportunity to clarify his views, the team notes, adding that he also declined to "acknowledge specific hateful material in the film." Calling his behavior detrimental to the team, the team said it ultimately determined Irving "is currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets."

As such, he will be suspended "until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct." The suspension will be no less than five games, meaning the earliest he could return would be in a Nov. 13 road game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Yahoo Sports reports. In the press conference mentioned by the Nets, Irving declined to apologize and, when asked to simply state yes or no to the question of whether he held anti-Semitic beliefs, instead made a reference to what Yahoo Sports refers to as the "ahistorical Black Hebrew Israelite movement put forward in the documentary" he originally linked to. The movement argues Black people, not Jewish people, are the actual descendants of ancient Israelites. "I cannot be anti-Semitic if I know where I come from" was Irving's response to the yes-or-no question.

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The Nets' move comes after the team issued a joint statement with the Anti-Defamation League Wednesday saying Irving took responsibility for "the negative impact" his post had on the Jewish community. The Wednesday statement announced that Irving and the Nets would each make a $500,000 donation to "causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities," but following Thursday's news conference and resulting suspension, the ADL said it would not accept money from him. "We were optimistic but after watching the debacle of a press conference, it’s clear that Kyrie feels no accountability for his actions. @ADL cannot in good conscience accept his donation," its CEO tweeted. After the suspension was announced, Irving finally apologized via Instagram, but his post says he does agree with some points in the film. (More Kyrie Irving stories.)

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