Nets Suspend Kyrie Irving for 'No Less Than Five Games' (UPDATE)

The Brooklyn Nets announced Kyrie Irving will be suspended for "no less than five games" as he must meet a "series of objective remedial measures."

Kyrie Irving has been suspended

Image via Getty/Dustin Satloff

Kyrie Irving has been suspended

UPDATED November 5, 9:28 p.m. ET: According to Shams Charania, sources with direct knowledge say Irving must complete six action items in order to return to the Nets. Read them below via The Athletic.

  • 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, as well as Jewish community leaders in Brooklyn.
  • After completing 1 to 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.

See original story from 11/03/22 below.

Kyrie Irving has been suspended by the Brooklyn Nets.

The announcement comes hours after Irving spoke at a media session and, according to a press release from the Nets, “refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film.” Irving will need to meet a “series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct” before he can return to the team. 

His suspension will last for “no less than five games.” Read the Nets’ statement below.

Near midnight, the 30-year-old shared an extended apology on Instagram:

“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,” he wrote. “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.”

Kyrie continued, “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.”

Previously, on Wednesday, Irving and the Nets pledged $500,000 each to “causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities” in a joint statement with the Anti-Defamation League. 

“I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility,” Kyrie said in the statement. “I do not believe everything said in the documentary was true or reflects my morals and principles.” 

Irving spoke with reporters on Thursday after failing to appear in two consecutive post-game press conferences following his tense exchange with ESPN reporter Nick Friedell. Nets general manager Sean Marks said Kyrie’s absence was part of their goal to address the situation “in the right form and fashion.” 

During his six-minute media session on Thursday, Irving once again took responsibility for the post, but never offered an apology. When asked if he had anti-Semitic beliefs, Kyrie sidestepped the question, saying, “I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who is Jewish, expressed his disappointment with Irving’s lack of an apology, and not condemning the antisemitic tropes contained within the documentary. 

“Kyrie Irving made a reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive anti-Semitic material,” Silver said. “While we appreciate the fact that he 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 unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize.”

Silver said he plans on speaking with Irving soon. When questioned about the commissioner mentioning there was a lack of an “unqualified apology” Kyrie responded, “I didn’t mean to cause any harm, I’m not the one that made the documentary.”  

The artist formerly known as Kanye West has chimed in on Irving’s situation on Twitter. 

As is the custom with Ye, once he got started, he wasn’t going to stop. 

West also shared a photo of an article in which Amar’e Stoudemire criticized Irving, claiming “they make us attack each other.”

Stoudemire was likely asked for his opinion because he converted to Judaism in 2020, one year after receiving his Israeli citizenship.

According to SNY reporter Ian Begley, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt will decline Irving’s donation.  

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