The Brooklyn Nets have suspended Kyrie Irving without pay, the team announced. He will be serving a five-game suspension after sharing an Anti-Semitic film on social media.
Irving was relentlessly pressed by the media during pregame and post-game interviews. In his last post-game interview, Irving said, “I can’t be anti-semitic if I know where I came from.” Irving’s comments have caused Brooklyn to suspend him.
Brooklyn Nets released a statement about Kyrie Irving’s suspension:
“Over the last several days, we have made repeated attempts to work with Kyrie Irving to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, which began with him publicizing a film containing deeply disturbing antisemitic hate. We believed that taking the path of education in this challenging situation would be the right one and thought that we had made progress with our joint commitment to eradicating hate and intolerance.”
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.
Such failure to disavow antisemitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, is against the values of our organization, and constitutes conduct detrimental to the team. Accordingly, we are of the view that he is currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets. We have decided that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct and the suspension period served is no less than five games.”
The Brooklyn Nets didn’t offer Kyrie Irving an extension during the offseason because of the lack of availability last season. The NBA champion opted into the final season of his contract, which will most likely be his last season with the team.