LeBron James has weighed in on the recent controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving.
While speaking to the media following the Lakers’ loss to the Jazz on Friday night, LeBron didn’t shy away from criticizing his former teammate. James declared that Irving, who was suspended by the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday after failing to apologize for sharing an antisemitic film on social media, “caused some harm to a lot of people.”
“It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how tall you are or what position you’re in,” LeBron said. “If you are promoting, soliciting or saying harmful things to any community that harms people, then I don’t respect it. I don’t condone it.”
James continued, “I hope he understands that what he said was harmful to a lot of people. As humans, none of us are perfect. But I hope he understands what he did or the actions he took was harmful to a lot of people.”
Kyrie sparked backlash last week after posting a link on social media for the documentary Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, a 2018 film that focuses on antisemitic tropes, including claims that “many famous high-ranking Jews have admitted to worship[ing] Satan or Lucifer.”
When asked about the backlash, Irving downplayed his actions, claiming that he wasn’t promoting anything.
The Nets suspended Kyrie on Thursday, saying the point guard 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.