After eight missed games and a bevy of rehabilitation handed down by Nets owner Joe Tsai, Kyrie Irving will play Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The contentious storyline involving Irving and his advertising of an ‘antisemitic’ film created both critics and supporters.
A group of Black Hebrew Israelites on behalf of Israel United in Christ (IUIC) gathered outside of Barclays Center to herald the Nets guard’s return. Wearing purple hoodies and leading chants outside of the Nets’ venue, the group of men continued to show their support for Irving, whose Islamic ideals were contested by the general sports media and Nets team amid his antisemitism debacle.
The organization was last seen protesting Irving’s indefinite suspension (minimum of five games) outside of Barclays when the Nets hosted the New York Knicks.
Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown quote-tweeted a video of the IUIC’s demonstration on Sunday, continuing his support for Irving.
Brown later clarified that his tweet was in direct support of Irving and not necessarily in support of the religious group outside of Barclays.
As relayed by the New York Post, Deacon Eythan of Israel United in Christ defended the player against the claims of antisemitic.
“We’re expressing our support of Kyrie Irving and his stance in terms of him knowing who he is,” Deacon Eythan said.
“Kyrie Irving himself understands that not only are we Semitic ourselves, but it is contradictory and hypocritical to say that someone is anti-Semitic when they are Semitic.”
Deacon Eythan previously stated that the organization’s goal was to peacefully protest the Nets’ stranglehold on Kyrie’s beliefs.