Kyrie Irving Suspended by Brooklyn Nets for Promoting Anti-Semitic Film

Kyrie Irving arrives at the BET Awards 2022 held at Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live on June 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California, United States. — Photo by imagepressagency

The Brooklyn Nets suspended Kyrie Irving on Thursday, Nov. 3, for refusing to apologize after sharing a link to a documentary that has been criticized as antisemitic.

“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,” the Nets said in a statement.

“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,” the statement added.

The announcement came in response to Irving tweeting a link to the 2018 film Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America on Oct. 27.

His suspension will last at least five games without pay.

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After Irving posted the link to the film, Nets owner Joe Tsai said he was “disappointed.” The NBA star was urged to denounce antisemitism but apparently declined.

The statement went on to call Irving “unfit to be associated” with the team.

“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,” the team said.

Rolling Stone reported the movie in question is “stuffed with antisemitic tropes.” The film is based on Ronald Dalton’s book by the same name. According to the publisher’s description, the book is touted as exposing the “truths that have been hidden by the powers that are prevalent in America.”

After facing controversy for promoting the film, the point guard issued a joint statement with the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League.

“I oppose all forms of hatred and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” Irving said in the Nov. 2 statement, just before he was suspended.