The Kyrie Irving antisemitism debacle lives on, and the NBA’s sole Jewish player has delivered his thoughts on the situation.
Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija responded to Irving’s controversy, holding the Nets guard accountable to the antisemitism claims he received after promoting a film titled Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.
Avdija said Irving’s influence could prove troublesome with young fans, adding a need to be responsible with his social media platform.
“[Irving] is a role model, he’s a great player. I think he [made] a mistake. But you need to understand that he gives [an] example to people. People look up to him,” Avdija said.
“You can think whatever you want, you can do whatever you want. I don’t think it’s right to go out in public and publish it, and let little kids that follow you see it, and the generation to come after to think like that. Because it’s not true. And I don’t think it’s fair. Hopefully, he’s sorry for what he said.”
Nets May Be Done With Irving
The Wizards player said it was necessary for the NBA and the Nets to assign Irving an ultimatum, which is a five-game suspension and lists of tasks to complete with officials in and out of the NBA.
“I think there needs to be consequences for the actions that a player [does],” Avdija said. “I don’t know the punishment that the league gives but I think that needs to be known that there’s no room for words like that.”
The Nets and Irving previously agreed to donate $500,000 to the Anti-Defamation League. Their CEO rejected Irving’s donation a day after the announcement.
Condemnation for Irving’s promotion of the antisemitic film has spanned from NBA players to major companies like Nike.
Related: KYRIE IRVING APOLOGIZES ON INSTAGRAM AFTER ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE REJECTS $500K DONATION, SUSPENSION
Former Cavs teammate LeBron James spoke on Kyrie’s suspension, giving a general rejection of the ideology without calling Irving out directly.
“I don’t condone any hate to any kind. To any race,” James said on Friday. “To Jewish communities, to black communities, to Asian communities. You guys know where I stand.”
Chances are Irving played his final game for Brooklyn after being assigned a laundry list of boxes to check off before playing another game, including meeting with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Nets team governor Joe Tsai, Jewish community leaders and passing a general antisemitism assessment. It’s a relationship beyond the point of mend
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela