Kyrie Irving is not one to shy away from controversy. That didn’t change a few weeks ago after Kyrie made a tweet posting links to a movie with anti-sementic themes, and refused to apologize. This event happened after Kanye West posted a series of anti-semitic tweets, and West has made a point of supporting what Irving decided to post. However, fans, other players, the Nets and the NBA have been less supportive.
After the tweet was posted, Irving’s team, the Brooklyn Nets, asked him to remove the tweet and post an apology for his actions. However, Irving initially refused to do so, which resulted in the team suspending him from play. While Irving did delete the tweet and posted an apology, the NBA decided that was too little too late, and kept him suspended. The NBA also made a list of what Irving would need to do in order to be allowed to play again. This list asks Irving to apologize and condemn the film he promoted, make a $500,000 donation to anti-hate causes, complete sensitivity training, complete anti-semitism training, meet with the ADL (Anti-Defamation league) and Jewish leaders, and meet with team owner Joe Tsai to demonstrate an understanding of the situation, according to an article posted on CBS. It is not clear if Irving has done anything more than apologize.
At first, players and fans alike criticized Irving for his actions, including Lebron James, who said in a press conference that Irvings tweet “caused some harm to a lot of people.” However, after Irving apologized, it seems that James believes that the punishment is no longer equal to the crime. James retweeted Irvings apology, saying that while he doesn’t believe in sharing harmful information, that Irving has expressed enough understanding to be allowed to play again. It is still unclear as of now when Irving will be allowed to play again.
The NBA seems to be taking Irvings comments very seriously, as it should. The kind of impact that Kyrie Irving can have as a famous celebrity should not be overlooked. This situation is also similar to the Kanye West tweets, which caused him to be removed from his deal with Adidas, and has created shockwaves across the internet. West has come out in support of Irving, but Irving has yet to respond to West’s support. The NBA seems to be slowly losing the support of fans and players about this situation, so it is likely that it will be cleared up soon.