Brooklyn Nets suspended point guard Kyrie Irving for less than five games for failure to deny anti-Semitic reference. The franchise is calling Irving’s response “deeply disturbing.” They also said that Irving is “ineligible to join the Brooklyn Nets.”
The suspension calls for Irving to “satisfy a series of remedial measures” to address the damage before being reinstated.
On Twitter and Instagram last week, Irving publicly referenced a film that promotes government conspiracy theories and invokes several antisemitic tropes. He doubled down on his views and refused to answer questions about anti-Semitism at a media conference today.
Here is the full text of the Net’s press release:
Over the past several days, we have made repeated efforts to work with Kyrie Irving to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, which began with him promoting a film containing deeply disturbing anti-Semitic hatred. We believed that the path of education was the right one to take in these challenging circumstances and we feel that we have made progress with our collective commitment to eradicating hate and intolerance.
We were disappointed today, when given the opportunity at a media session, that Kyrie refused to state unequivocally that he has no anti-Semitic beliefs, nor to acknowledge the specific hateful content of the film. This is not the first time he has had the opportunity – but failed – to clarify.
Failure to reject anti-Semitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, contrary to the values of our organization and constitutes behavior damaging to the party. Accordingly, we feel that he is currently ineligible to join the Brooklyn Nets. We have decided that Kyrie will serve the suspension without pay until he addresses the harmful effects of his conduct and satisfies the terms of the suspension, which shall not be less than five games.