Kyrie Irving will finally be facing repercussions for his promotion of an anti-Semitic film, receiving a suspension from the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets announced their decision to suspend Irving for “at least five games without pay” Thursday, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no anti-Semitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film,” the statement read. “This was not the first time he had the opportunity — but failed — to clarify.
“Such failure to disavow anti-Semitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, is against the values of our organization and constitutes conduct detrimental to the team. Accordingly, we are of the view that he is currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets. We have decided that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct and the suspension period served is no less than five games.”
The entire situation started when Irving shared a link to his Twitter and Instagram pages promoting an Amazon link for a 2018 film titled, “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.” The post caused controversy as the film reportedly is filled with anti-Semitic disinformation. In the days following, the Nets released statements condemning the posts, while fellow controversy magnet Ye, aka Kanye West, shared his support for the guard in posts of his own to social media.
When the 30-year-old got into a heated exchange about the posts, Brooklyn decided to remove him from postgame press conferences all together. The Nets and Irving then announced $1 million worth of donations “toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities,” split between Brooklyn and the All-NBA guard. When speaking to the media following the announcement, Irving then flat-out refused to apologize or deny he had any anti-Semitic beliefs.
The earliest Irving could return to the organization would be Nov. 13 when Brooklyn visits the Los Angeles Lakers.