Adam Silver Says Kyrie Irving ‘Definitely’ Not Anti-Semitic: Report
NBA commissioner Adam Silver And Brooklyn Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving had a “direct and candid conversation” earlier this week, and he came out with the impression that Irving is “definitely” not anti-Semitic.
“He’s someone I’ve known for a decade, and I’ve never heard an anti-Semitic word from him or, frankly, hatred toward any group,” Silver, who is Jewish, told the New York Times.
“Whether or not he is anti-Semitic is irrelevant to the harm caused by posting hateful content.”
Irving received a lot of backlash for posting a link to an Amazon documentary containing anti-Semitic slurs, which included The Nets are suspending him At least five games and completing a six-step process before he can be considered for reinstatement.
Co-founder of Nike Phil Knight announced Thursday that his company will no longer work with Irving, and it’s likely for good. Irving’s signature shoe line has been produced by Nike for years.
The Nets initially did not suspend Irving, allowing him to attempt an apology during a media availability. However, he did not apologize publicly, instead waiting to post a lengthy apology on his Instagram.
Some believe the Net is now going overboard with their six-step program – LeBron James said this on Thursday That he believes Irving’s apology should be accepted, and the Nets should allow him to play again — but Silver said delaying the penalty investigation “may be justified.”
“I think we got the right result here in terms of his suspension,” Silver added. “And in retrospect, we might have been able to get there sooner. I accept that criticism. But I felt it was important to understand what discipline was appropriate in the context in which it was posted, not to excuse it but what discipline was appropriate. To understand that.”
As for the league itself, Silver said they are doing “some work and research” on the link Irving posted before moving forward with any discipline or announcement.
“Once we investigated, it was clear to me that this was indeed hate speech and we responded together with the Brooklyn Nets,” Silver said.
Irving has missed four Nets games so far and could return this Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers after Brooklyn faces the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.
The Athletic revealed that Irving must go through the Nets’ instructions before returning:
- On October 27, he issued an apology for posting a link to the movie, condemning the hurtful and false content and clarifying that he does not have anti-Semitic beliefs.
- Complete the anti-hate grounds that Irving, the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League agreed to in their joint release on Nov. 2, including a $500,000 grant Towards causes and organizations working to eradicate hatred and intolerance in society.
- Complete sensitivity training developed by Net.
- Complete anti-Semitic/anti-hate training designed by Net.
- Meet with representatives of the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish community leaders in Brooklyn.
- After completing 1 through 5, meet with owner Joe Sy and chief franchisee officers to demonstrate lessons learned and understand the gravity of the loss caused by the situation and assure that such behavior will not be repeated.
“We’re going to give him some time,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said Friday. “It’s up to him. Again, his actions will speak louder than words, and if he wants to be in it, we’ll see where it goes.”
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