Anti-Semitism: NBA star Kyrie Irving’s future is in jeopardy

Kyrie Irving in Kanye West’s footsteps? The NBA star was kicked out by the Nets and saw his partnership with Nike terminated after he promoted a film deemed anti-Semitic on social media. The basketball player actually posted the poster of the movie From Hebrews to Negroes: Awakening Black America and links to the Amazon site to rent or buy it. He later apologized, and few believe his guilt was sincere. Will Kyrie Irving become persona non grata like Kanye West? Despite the severity of the skid and its impact on its approximately 4.6 million subscribers, nothing is certain yet.

But his situation in Brooklyn, where he has caused a number of problems since his arrival in 2019, notably refusing to be vaccinated against Covid, looks increasingly precarious. Because Irving didn’t just act “recklessly,” NBA executive Adam Silver regretted Thursday that he was a week behind the facts, or “stupid,” as former star Shaquille O’Neal called it. Above all, he continued to act without remorse, sometimes ruthlessly. By Thursday evening.

READ ALSOThe scourge of anti-Semitism

“I am deeply sorry to all the families in the Jewish community who were hurt and affected by my message, and I apologize to you,” he finally agreed to declare. The thing is, the Nets slapped him a few hours ago by suspending him for at least five games.

Extended suspension?

“When given the opportunity to speak to the press, we were appalled that Kyrie refused to unequivocally state that he had no anti-Semitic beliefs or to acknowledge the hateful content inherent in the film,” Irving justified to his leaders. “Can no longer be associated with the club”. For a 30-year-old player far from the woods, it’s enough to raise alarm bells.

Because general manager Sean Marks assured on Friday that the Nets aren’t going to part ways with him during this storm, expecting more from him than forced contrition. Their press release also stated that the period of his suspension will be extended as long as he does not eliminate the negative impact of his activities.

“Actions speak louder than words,” Marx insisted, urging Irving to “meet with the leaders of the Jewish community in Brooklyn to educate himself on issues related to anti-Semitism.” “He will have to discuss with them. Then we will assess the situation within the club and see if it is the right time to bring him back.”

If the Nets are on the move, what about the NBA? Despite this, the institution, which wants to be at the forefront of the fight against racism in all its forms, has remained largely passive to this day and has yet to allow many voices, such as former Irving star Charles Barkley, to be offended.

Not released yet

Adam Silver said he wanted to meet him in person next week. Additional sanction will not help the star’s affairs. Meanwhile, Nike got a second slap on the wrist when they pulled the plug on the new Kyrie 8 shoe, “with immediate effect.” The hardware manufacturer has not yet specified. when. But according to Sportico, the contract, which earned him 11 million dollars per season, lasts until the current season. Two weeks ago, rapper Kanye West saw Adidas and other brands suspend their collaborations after he tweeted that he would attack Jews.

Irving isn’t quite released yet. But, according to ESPN’s insider columnist Stephen A. Smith, Nets owner Joe Tsai is “done” with the $35 million star this season.

If his contract were to fall apart, he’s not saying any club would risk hiring a major talent who not only won a title — he won a championship with Cleveland in 2016, LeBron James, but too often. overshadowed by the shifts of his divisive personality. His conspiracy tendencies — for example, when he claimed the earth was flat or that the CIA was involved in Bob Marley’s death — long drew laughter and derision. Not anymore.

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