The suspension Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving received after he shared a link to a documentary that pushed antisemitic views has been the talk of the NBA in recent days.
Brooklyn opted to suspend the All-Star a minimum of five games after he refused to issue an apology for “promoting” the video. This came after a major back-and-forth between the embattled guard and the media.
Upon issuing the suspension, Brooklyn assigned Irving six tasks that he must complete before returning to the team.
- Apologize/condemn movie
- $500K donation to anti-hate causes
- Sensitivity training
- Antisemitic training
- Meet with ADL, Jewish leaders
- Meet with Joe Tsai to demonstrate understanding
Apparently, this is not sitting well with the National Basketball Players’ Association, including vice president Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics.
“I’m expecting the NBPA to appeal the suspension from Brooklyn. The terms, etc., that went into his return. The terms for his return, they seem like a lot, and a lot of the players expressed discomfort with the terms,” Jaylen Brown on the Kyrie Irving suspension.
Irving, 30, has been under a microscope for sharing a documentary titled “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which included several antisemitic views.
However, the Nets’ decision to suspend Irving had more to do with his actions after sharing said post via his Instagram account.
“We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film. This was not the first time he had the opportunity — but failed — to clarify,” Brooklyn Nets statement in announcing Kyrie Irving suspension.
As for the Players’ Association, it’s role is to go to bat for members. It’s no surprise that Brown and Co. would release a statement of this ilk despite the firestorm Irving has created since this thing blew up late last month.
Kyrie Irving could be done with the Brooklyn Nets
It has been noted by multiple reporters recently that Irving could have very well played his final game in a Nets uniform. Fresh off the firing of head coach Steve Nash, things are spiraling out of control in Brooklyn.
According to Nick Friedell of ESPN, there’s so many people within the Nets organization that are just fed up with Irving’s off-court antics and the drama that he has brought to the table since signing as a free agent back in the summer of 2019.
An impending free agent, one now has to wonder whether the Nets simply just opt to waive Irving given the fact that there’s no interest in him on the trade block. That includes Irving’s former teammate LeBron James speaking out against him recently.
Irving is earning $36.5 million in the final year of his current contract. While waiving him would create some major financial issues, it might be the Nets’ best move given the drama we’re seeing thus far this season.