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LeBron James tweets that Kyrie Irving ‘should be playing,’ calls Nets’ return-to-play requirements ‘excessive’

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LeBron James tweeted on Thursday that he thought Kyrie Irving should play for the Brooklyn Nets rather than serve a suspension.

“I told you guys that I don’t believe in spreading malicious information.” – James tweeted. “And I’ll continue like this, but Kairi has apologized and he should be able to play. That’s what I think. It’s so easy. Help him learn, but he has to play. Floor, I think that’s overkill, IMO. “He’s not the person he’s portrayed to be. Anyway, back to my rehab session.”

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networks suspended Irving last Thursday at least five games. A week earlier, Irving had posted on Twitter and Instagram a film full of anti-Semitic plots, From Jews to Blacks: Awaken Black America. Irving doubled in a controversial post-match press conference on October 30, then did not speak to the media again until November 3, at which point he tripled by refusing to apologize for the messages or completely disavow the content of the message. movie.

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Hours after that second press conference, Brooklyn announced the suspension. Here is the full press release:

Over the past few days, we have made repeated attempts to help Kyrie Irving to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, which began with his release of a film containing deeply disturbing anti-Semitic hatred. We believed that the path of education in this difficult situation would be the right one, and we believed that we had made progress in our common quest to eradicate hatred and intolerance.

We were dismayed today, when given the opportunity at a press conference, that Kairiye refused to unequivocally state that he had no anti-Semitic beliefs, nor acknowledge the presence of specific hate material in the film. This was not the first time he had had the opportunity – but could not – clarify.

This failure to disavow anti-Semitism when given the clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, contrary to the values ​​of our organization, and constitutes behavior that is detrimental to the team. Accordingly, we believe he cannot be associated with the Brooklyn Nets at this time. We have determined that Kairiye will be suspended without pay until he completes a series of objective remedial actions to address the detrimental effects of his conduct, for a period of at least five games.

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A few hours later Irving posted an apology on Instagram. Here it is in full:

While doing research on YHWH, I published a documentary containing several false anti-Semitic statements, narratives and language that were false and offensive to the Jewish race/religion, and I take full responsibility for my actions. I am grateful that I have a great knowledge sharing platform and want to move forward with an open dialogue to learn more and grow from it.

To all the Jewish families and communities affected by my fast, I deeply regret the pain I have caused you and I apologize. At first, I reacted emotionally to being unfairly labeled an anti-Semite, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish brothers and sisters who suffered from the hateful remarks made in the documentary. I want to clear up any confusion about where I’m fighting against [antisemitism] apologizing for posting the documentary without context and the factual explanation outlining specific beliefs in the documentary that I agree with and disagree with. It was not my intention to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or to perpetuate any hatred. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope that we can find mutual understanding between all of us. I am no different from any other person. I am a seeker of truth and knowledge and I know who I Am.

Nets general manager the next morning Sean Marks told reporters in DC that the post was “a step in the right direction” towards a return to the team, but “definitely not enough.” Marks added that throughout the anti-Semitic row there was not enough dialogue between Irving and the team and that the length of the suspension would ultimately depend on Irving.

On Wednesday, Marks said he had not spoken personally to Irving since the suspension, but only to “his representatives” and had “nothing to share” about the situation. (This was reported by ESPN last Friday. that Irving hid owner Joe Tsai and only communicated with the team through his stepmother/agent throughout the scandal.)

Return-to-play requirements set out by the Nets, as reported ESPN, Athletic as well as Yahoo Sportsare:

  • Meet with the media and state clearly that the film is harmful and untrue and he regrets sharing it.
  • Get training on sensitivity to the dangers of hate speech
  • Get training on sensitivity, especially around anti-Semitism.
  • Meeting with the Anti-Defamation League and Brooklyn Jewish Community Leaders
  • Donate $500,000 to organizations that fight hate
  • After completing the above steps, meet with Nets owner Joe Tsai to demonstrate that he understands the situation and will not do anything like this this season.

James believes this is asking too much of Irving, and that the Instagram apology Irving posted after his suspension should be enough. The National Basketball Association is of the same opinion., according to NBPA Vice President Jaylen Brown. Irving is also a Vice President of the NBPA.

The announcement of the suspension – and the conditions under which it would end – came days after Marks and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver would have preferred by ESPN. Ironically, the reason why Tsai didn’t suspend him sooner is the same as why James stopped it now: both wanted the team to help Irving learn, not punish him. And the team’s stated rationale for the terms of the suspension is straightforward: within a week of the film’s release, he did not demonstrate that he was committed to self-education about anti-Semitism or interested in condemning the film.

In other words, Brooklyn’s position is that Irving had plenty of chances to show he didn’t deserve a disqualification, and he didn’t take them. As a result, for Irving to show that he can be connected to the team, the bar is higher.

At last Friday’s post-match press conference, James said his position was “simple” but offered no opinion on the length or terms of the suspension.

“Personally, I don’t condone hatred of any species, any race, Jewish communities, black communities, Asian communities,” James said at the time, adding that this is why The Store, his HBO talk show, didn’t air the episode. with hate speech by Kanye West. “I don’t represent it. There is no place in this world for that. Nobody can benefit from this. And I think what Kairi did caused some harm to a lot of people.”

James continued, “He apologized. But he did some harm, and I think it’s unfortunate. But I’m not in the position of hurting people when it comes to your voice, your platform, or anything else. So it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how tall you are, what position you are in, if you advertise, solicit or say hurtful things to any community that hurts people, then I don’t respect it. I don’t condone it.”

If Irving follows the steps outlined by the team, he could theoretically be back on the court as early as Sunday against James the Los Angeles Lakers.


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