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Kyrie Irving has been handed an indefinite suspension of at least 5 games for tweeting a link to an antisemitic film. However, Celtics shooting guard Jaylen Brown, said the players’ association doesn’t agree with the conditions of the suspension and doesn’t think Irving is antisemitic.
Brown is vice president of the NBAP (so is Irving) and said that the Irving situation is something new. He explained how it’s a gray area regarding the distinction between saying or writing something and sharing a link.
“There is an interesting distinction between what somebody says verbally and what somebody posts as a link on a platform with no description behind it,” Brown said.
“Some people will argue there’s no difference and some people will argue there is a difference. There’s no language in our CBA. There’s no rules against it. This is uncharted territory for everybody.”
Brown said that a significant number of players were not in favor of the conditions Irving must meet to end his suspension. These include an apology, a $500,000 donation, completing sensitivity and antisemitic/anti-hate training. He must also meet with the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish leaders and Brooklyn Nets brass.
“The terms in which he has to fulfill to return, I think not just speaking for me, speaking as a vice president from a lot of our players, we didn’t agree with the terms that was required for him to come back, and we’re waiting for this Tuesday meeting to happen to see what comes of it.”
Brown Doesn’t Think Kyrie Irving Is Antisemitic
Brown played alongside Irving for a few years in Boston. He talked about whether he thinks his former teammate is antisemitic.
“I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic,” he told The Boston Globe. “I don’t think people in our governing bodies think he’s antisemitic. He made a mistake. We understand from an outside perspective how important sensitivity is to not condone hate speech and not condone anything of that nature.
“We don’t want to stand up for somebody in order to not condemn hate speech, but I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic. And hopefully, the NBA feels the same way.”
Brown’s Comments Drew Reactions
After Brown made his comments, people who both disagreed and agreed with him chimed in on Twitter.
even if this is true Jalen, the Nets owner gave Kyrie a full week…FULL WEEK to correct his mistake, chose not to do it…ACCOUNTABILITY for his actions— Its Clips City, Red and Blue (@LAClippersTeam) November 8, 2022
This the same Jaylen Brown that had to issue a retraction statement after his support of Kanye right?— Sir Bryan Lee (@FamousBL3) November 8, 2022
I’m willing to bet Jaylen doesn’t know what antisemitism is either… pic.twitter.com/0nnDamw3yx
If he gets away with only missing 5 games the terms were extremely light— Nathan Shriberg (@NShriberg) November 8, 2022
It is not a mistake. He has to believe in something to post it. A mistake is usually untended. This was intended to have an effect.— chicago boy (@zizjag2) November 8, 2022
However, others note a double standard in the way that the league has handled the Kyrie Irving situation versus other situations.
Remember when Anthony Edwards said nasty stuff about LGBT people, he gave a half assed apology one time and then the incident was never brought up again? So compare that to Kyrie’s situation. Kyrie did way less and has gotten 100x the punishment 🤔— AB (@WayToo6ixy) November 8, 2022
Meyers Leonard said a single word and was affectively banned from the league btw— Howell they blow it this time? (@fieldszn3) November 8, 2022
@FCHWPO thank you for understanding you don’t have to side with him to still be fair and realistic. Some players we know with high notoriety are scare it cost them money and decided to denounce the man for posting A book on Amazon 😒— Himalayanplaya (@TheIndieLink1) November 8, 2022
Irving met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, and reportedly had a “productive and understanding visit.”
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle