NBA commissioner Adam Silver answers if he thinks Kyrie Irving is antisemitic
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NBA commissioner says there is no doubt in his mind that Kyrie Irving is not antisemitic. Last week, the Brooklyn Nets suspended Irving after the star guard promoted a movie full of antisemitic material. Silver, who is Jewish, had a meeting with Irving this week.
After the meeting, Silver shared his thoughts on the Irving situation. "He's someone I've known for a decade, and I've never heard an antisemitic word from him or, frankly, hate directed at any group," Silver told The New York Times.
The NBA and the Nets were criticized for taking a week before they imposed suspension on Irving. "I feel that we got to the right outcome here in terms of his suspension. And in retrospect, we may have been able to get there faster.
I accept that criticism. But I felt it was important to understand the context in which it was posted to understand what discipline was appropriate, not in any way to excuse it but to understand what discipline was appropriate," Silver reflected.
Silver watched the movie that Irving promoted
Before making any decision on Irving, Silver wanted first to father all the information. That included watching the movie that Irving promoted on social media. "Once we did that investigation, it was clear to me that this was indeed hate speech and we, together with the Brooklyn Nets, did respond," Silver added.
After being suspended by the Nets, Irving then finally directly apologized to the Jewish community. "To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize.
I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the Documentary. I want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against Anti- semticism by apologizing for posting the documentary without context and a factual explanation outlining the specific beliefs in the Documentary I agreed with and disagreed with.
I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all," Irving wrote on Instagram.
The Nets have given Irving a list of things he needs to meet before he is allowed to return to the team.