Kyrie Irving Criticizes 'I'm a Jew and I'm Proud' Signs, Rabbi Reports Their Removal

Controversy Arises at Jazz-Mavericks Game Over Sign Incident.

by Nouman Rasool
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Kyrie Irving Criticizes 'I'm a Jew and I'm Proud' Signs, Rabbi Reports Their Removal
© Christian Petersen/Getty Images

At the Delta Center during a recent Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks game, a scene unfolded that has stirred considerable debate. Rabbi Avremi Zippel, along with three other rabbis, attended the game, proudly displaying "I’m a Jew and I’m proud" signs.

Their intention was to express Jewish pride, particularly with the presence of Kyrie Irving, the Mavericks' player who previously faced criticism for sharing a link to a film containing antisemitic material and for his choice of attire at a postgame press conference.

However, the situation took a turn when, according to Rabbi Zippel, Irving appeared to take issue with the signs. Shortly after Irving's alleged complaint to Mavericks security, Jazz security approached the rabbis. They were instructed to put their signs away, a directive that sparked further controversy.

Rabbi Condemns Irving's Actions

Rabbi Zippel expressed his disappointment in a separate post, critiquing both Irving's actions and the response of the Mavericks organization. He stated, "That Kyrie Irving is a coward with the spine of a goldfish is not news to me.

That the Mavericks organization covers for him, is sadly, not new to me." The Utah Jazz, in a statement released on Tuesday, addressed the incident. They emphasized their code of conduct, which aims to prevent game disruptions.

According to the Jazz, the issue wasn't the content of the signs but the distraction they caused, particularly during a specific in-game interaction. They clarified that a part-time employee had mistakenly cited the sign's content as the problem.

The Mavericks have yet to respond to inquiries for comment. The incident raises questions about the boundaries of expression at sports events. Rabbi Zippel questioned whether any other sign would have been deemed a distraction, expressing frustration at the Jazz's decision to support the player he believes was "triggered" by their message.

He remarked, "Bottom line: there was one person, in a building of 18,000+, that was triggered by a sign that says 'I’m a Jew and I’m proud' Why that bothers him so, to the point that it sparks an interaction, should be the real question anyone is asking." Rabbi Zippel's final thoughts conveyed disappointment at the handling of the situation, suggesting that what could have been a minor misunderstanding escalated unnecessarily due to the Jazz's stance.

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