The Brooklyn Nets determined Kyrie Irving was “unfit to be associated with,” so the franchise suspended him for at least five games.
But that is not a hard maximum. The suspension could last longer, depending on how Irving deals with the situation.
The Nets reportedly gave Irving a to-do list of six steps he must takle before he can return to the team.
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The Athletic revealed the six steps:
- Issue an apology for posting a link to the movie on Oct. 27, condemn the harmful and false content and make clear that he does not have anti-Jewish beliefs.
- Complete the anti-hate causes that Irving, the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League agreed upon in their joint release on Nov. 2, including a $500,000 donation toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in communities.
- Complete sensitivity training created by the Nets.
- Complete antisemitic/anti-hate training designed by the Nets.
- Meet with representatives from the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish community leaders in Brooklyn.
- After completing 1 through 5, meet with owner Joe Tsai and lead franchise officials and demonstrate the lessons learned and that the gravity of the harm caused in the situation is understood and provide assurances that this type of behavior will not be repeated.
“We’re going to give him some time,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said Friday. “It’s up to him. Again, his actions will speak louder than words, and if he wants to participate in that, we’ll see where it goes.”
Irving tweeted a link to a film that has antisemitic disinformation and did not “unequivocally” apologize for his actions on more than one occasion, according to the Nets.
The guard has since apologized on social media.
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“While doing research on YHWH, I posted a Documentary that contained some false anti-Semitic statements, narratives, and language that were untrue and offensive to the Jewish Race/Religion, and I take full accountability and responsibly for my actions,” Irving wrote on Instagram. “I am grateful to have a big platform to share knowledge and I want to move forward by having an open dialogue to learn more and grow from this.
“To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize. I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the Documentary.
“I want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against Anti- semticism (sic) by apologizing for posting the documentary without context and a factual explanation outlining the specific beliefs in the Documentary I agreed with and disagreed with. I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all. I am no different than any other human being. I am a seeker of truth and knowledge, and I know who I Am.”
Irving also pledged to donate $500,000 to the ADL, but the organization declined the money, saying Irving’s initial apology seemed insincere.
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This is hardly Irving’s first controversy. He missed games in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 capitol riots. Before a New York City exception for performers, he only played for the team on a part-time basis on the road due to being unvaccinated for COVID-19.