As Kyrie Irving’s suspension continues, the controversy involving the documentary he shared on his Twitter continues to fester.
While Irving deleted his Twitter post that shared the 2018 documentary, Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, the film can still be found and watched on Amazon’s platform. Not only is it still available to be watched and bought, but it also occupies best-seller lists on the e-commerce site.
As a result, there have been calls for Amazon to remove the film and book of the same name from the site. According to The Washington Post, the Anti-Defamation League sent a letter to Amazon over the weekend on behalf of the organization and the Brooklyn Nets asking that they remove the book and film from the company’s marketplace or context as to why both works are antisemitic.
The letter read, according to The Post, “The book and the film are designed to inflame hatred and, now that it was popularized by Mr. Irving, will lead directly to the harm of Jews. These views aren’t different viewpoints on history, they are outright antisemitic hate. They amplify longstanding antisemitic tropes about Jewish power, greed and claims that Jews control the media.”
Despite these calls to action, the book and film are still on the site.
But, a potential disclaimer may be added to the film and book’s detail page to give potential buyers and viewers insight before spending their money on the works, according to The New York Times.
With these calls to action, the Nets All-Star guard is still serving his suspension from the team and met with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday to discuss how Irving could work through the steps the Nets gave him in order for him to return to the court of play.
Those steps include apologizing for the post linking to the movie, meeting with the NBA commissioner, Jewish leaders, and Nets owner Joe Tsai, making a $500,000 donation to anti-hate causes and completing sensitivity and anti-Semitism training.
Irving’s former teammate and current NBPA vice president Jaylen Brown has claimed that he and other players in the union believe that the steps the Nets are asking Irving to take are a little too much.
He told the Boston Globe on Monday, “I’m expecting the NBPA to appeal the suspension from Brooklyn. The terms for his return, they seem like a lot, and a lot of the players expressed discomfort with the terms. He made a mistake. He posted something. There was no distinction.”
Part of me understands where Brown and the NBPA are coming from, but if Irving wants to play basketball, he has to regain the trust of the team he’s working for. Throughout his career, especially the last five years, Irving has exhibited behavior that is untrustworthy, whether that’s deciding not to get the vaccine, or just not playing games because he was severely affected by the events at the capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
I get those are a lot of steps he has to complete, but because of his past actions, Irving has to regain the trust of the NBA, the Nets and his teammates if he wants to get back on the court and help turn his season around.