Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving was given a to-do list to return to NBA action following all the backlash for sharing a link to a film with racially-charged language and ignoring messages from Nets team general Joe Tsai regarding the controversy.
Among those six boxes for Irving to check is speaking with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, which he did this week.
On Thursday, Silver spoke on his meeting with Irving and confirmed the reasonably obvious: Kyrie is not antisemitic. He said there was “no doubt” that Kyrie did not intend to promote antisemitic ideology, which the sports media quickly assigned to Irving after a year of being at odds over the NBA’s vaccination requirement.
Silver commented, via The New York Times Sopan Deb:
“It’s something I’ve been very involved in. It’s obviously an incredibly unfortunate situation. It’s not a secret. I met with Kyrie earlier this week.
“I personally, based on what he said directly to me, have no doubt that he’s not antisemitic, but I think there’s a process that he’s going to now need to go through. I think he understands that and incidentally, it’s now with the Nets who are working with specifics.”
Irving’s to-do list includes:
– Apologize / condemn the promotion of the film (Hebrew to Negroes: Wake Up Black America)
– $500,000 donation to anti-hate causes or charities
– Sensitivity training
– Antisemitic training
– Meet with the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish community leaders
– Undergo an assessment by Nets owner Joe Tsai
No return date has been set for Kyrie.
Kyrie’s supporters have highlighted the NBA and Joe Tsai’s hypocrisy for pouncing on Irving for ‘antisemitic’ views while freely engaging in business with China, whose human rights violations are well-documented.
The general sentiment from players around the Association has opposed the harsh debt that the Nets gave Irving.
Nets teammate Kevin Durant, Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown have all voiced their support for Irving against the checklist the team gave him and the five-game-minimum suspension with no pay.
Irving released an official apology hours after he received his suspension. He continually refused to apologize because he contended that he never promoted antisemitic values.