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Nets’ Kevin Durant talks ‘chaos’ surrounding Kyrie Irving situation

Oct 3, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) and guard Kyrie Irving (11) wait to check into the game against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant took to Twitter in an attempt to clarify his remarks earlier on Friday when asked about the fallout surrounding Kyrie Irving’s social media posts that centered on an antisemitic book and movie.

Initially, speaking to reporters after morning shootaround, Durant labeled it as an “unfortunate situation” and that it “just (stinks) all around for everybody. Hopefully, it will come to pass.”

“I’m not here to judge somebody or talk down on the life or how they feel their views,” he said. “I just didn’t like anything that went on. I felt like it was all unnecessary. I felt like we could have just kept playing basketball and kept quiet as an organization. I just don’t like none of it.”

“It’s just the way the NBA is now, media, so many outlets now and their stories hit pretty fast now,” Durant said. “So that’s where all the chaos is coming from. Everybody has an opinion on the situation, and we’re hearing it nonstop.”

Durant then went the social-media route as a means to clarify his comments.

“Just wanna clarify the statements I made at shootaround, I see some people are confused..I don’t condone hate speech or anti-semetism (sic), I’m about spreading love always. Our game Unites people and I wanna make sure that’s at the forefront,” he wrote on Twitter.

The Nets suspended Irving for no fewer than five games Thursday night, saying they were “dismayed” that the guard did not denounce antisemitism when speaking to reporters.

The Nets issued a three-paragraph statement saying they’d originally hoped a “path of education” would be enough for Irving to learn his lesson after a recent social media post promoted a book and film with antisemitic messages.

The suspension came one day after Irving and the Nets each pledged to donate $500,000 to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to combat “hate and intolerance” in a statement that did not mention Irving’s actions nor include an apology from the controversial point guard.

On Friday morning, the CEO of the ADL, Jonathan Greenblatt, said the organization would not accept the contribution from Irving.

In a tweet, Greenblatt called Irving’s apology “an encouraging step from” the NBA star, but he said there was “a lot more to do to undo this damage.”

“Although we will not accept any funds from him, if Kyrie is open to direct dialogue to repair the harm that he has caused and to engage in a process of healing and learning in a sincere manner, @ADL is open to engaging with him. Time and action will tell.”

–Field Level Media