There just might be a road to return to the Brooklyn Nets for Kyrie Irving…if he agrees to complete six must do checklist items recently laid out by the team.
The basketball star — who is currently suspended indefinitely for the promotion of an antisemetic book and movie — spent a week refusing to apologize for his actions, leading to a five game suspension. Just a few hours after the announcement, Irving took to Instagram to cop his plea.
“While doing research on YHWH, I posted a Documentary that contained some false anti-Semitic statements, narratives, and language that were untrue and offensive to the Jewish Race/Religion, and I take full accountability and responsibility for my actions. I am grateful to have a big platform to share knowledge and I want to move forward by having an open dialogue to learn more and grow from this,” it reads in part.
And while some believe Irving’s apology comes better late than never, the Nets seemed to say, “aht aht! That’s not quite good enough.” In addition to a more formal apology request that he is to make before the media, acknowledging that the messaging was both untrue and harmful, he must meet with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, local Jewish leaders, as well as with Nets owner Joe Tsai. The apology must be posted to his social media accounts, and he then must attend a sensitivity training. As reported by Yahoo on Saturday night, Irving must additionally make a $500,000 donation to anti-hate causes, and undergo anti-semitism training.
According to the New York Post, SIlver has demanded to meet with Irving this upcoming week, and Grant Williams has also mentioned that the Union will discuss the matter as well.
“I think we will but currently, there are a lot of matters as well,” Williams told MassLive. “I think we’ll get together as a group potentially — everything has been through the team. It has been not been a league issue to this point. It hasn’t been an NBA/NBPA issue. The Nets and the league have taken care of that and dealing with Kyrie and the process there. We don’t have much control on that matter.”
Lebron James, Irving’s former Celtics teammate, spoke on the issue as well.
“I don’t condone any hate to any kind. To any race. To Jewish communities, to Black communities, to Asian communities. You guys know where I stand,” James expressed on Friday.
“He caused some harm, and I think it’s unfortunate. But I don’t stand on the position to harm people when it comes to your voice or your platform or anything. So it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how tall you are, what position you’re in. If you are promoting or soliciting or saying harmful things to any community that harms people, then I don’t respect it. I don’t condone it.”
After the Nets Friday night win in Washington — the first game played without IrvingWizards forward Deni Avdija who is apparently the only Jewish player in the NBA also spoke on the issue.
“[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.
“I think there needs to be consequences for the actions that a player [does]. 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.”
Saturday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets marked the second game of Irving’s suspension. But if he refuses to comply with the terms laid out by the team, it’s unsure when, if at all he’ll make his return.