Brooklyn Nets suspend Kyrie Irving

After Kyrie Irving tweeted a link to a movie that contained anti-Semitic material last week, the Brooklyn Nets suspended the star guard on Thursday, according to ESPN.

The suspension is expected to last at least five games without pay, according to The Athletic.

The Nets issued a statement regarding their decision to suspend Irving, saying the organization was “dismayed” after Irving failed to “unequivocally state that he does not hold anti-Semitic beliefs.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday he wanted Irving to apologize for tweeting a link to the movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.” However, the Brooklyn Nets guard paused one more time before saying he regretted doing it.

Irving said some things in the film were false, but stopped short of saying he shouldn’t have posted a link.

“I’m not the one who made the documentary,” Irving said after the Nets practiced Thursday.

Irving again said he meant no harm in posting the tweet, which he has since deleted, but did not apologize for doing so and asked reporters why they were not asking questions about the history of the blacks in America, saying that 300 million of their ancestors are buried in the country.

“Where you were asking these same questions when I was a kid learning about the traumatic events in my family history and what I’m proud to come and proud to be here,” Irving said, “and why when I repeat this to myself? No I will retire, it has nothing to do with firing any other race or group of people.

“I’m proud of my heritage and what we’ve been through and the fact that it’s pushed me against the Jewish community, and I’m standing here answering questions about whether or not I’m sorry for something I’ve done. I didn’t create and it was something that I shared, and I tell everyone that I take responsibility, then this is where I sit.”

Irving and the Nets announced Wednesday, along with the Anti-Defamation League, that they would each donate $500,000 to anti-hate causes. But Silver felt Irving needed to go further.

“While we appreciate that he has agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination, I am disappointed that he has not offered an unreserved apology and, more specifically, reported the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize,” the commissioner said.

Apparently, after Irving’s comments on Thursday, the Nets decided to take action to suspend the seven-time All-Star.

Irving said Saturday that he embraces all religions, defiantly defending his right to post whatever he believes after the Nets owner said he was disappointed that Irving appeared to support the film.

“It’s 2022. History isn’t supposed to be hidden from anybody and I’m not a divisive person when it comes to religion,” Irving said during a tense postgame news conference Saturday. “I embrace all walks of life.”

Irving previously said he understood Tsai’s position, but was quick to say she didn’t do anything harmful, adding that just because she posts about something doesn’t necessarily mean she supports it.

“I’m not going to give up on anything I believe in,” Irving said Saturday. “I’m only going to get stronger because I’m not alone. I have a whole army around me.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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