Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving was suspended for a minimum of five games by the organization after promoting an antisemitic documentary on his social media account.
Irving’s steadfast initial refusal to apologize coupled with his repeated defiance in the face of public backlash proved to be a recipe for disaster.
One of the first people within the NBA to come out and admonish Irving for his words was league commissioner Adam Silver.
This week, Silver answered something of an important question: does he believe Irving is antisemitic?
“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 said.
“Whether or not he is antisemitic is not relevant to the damage caused by the posting of hateful content. It’s something I’ve been very involved in. It’s obviously an incredibly unfortunate situation. It’s not a secret. I met with Kyrie earlier this week.
“I personally, based on what he said directly to me, have no doubt that he’s not antisemitic, but I think there’s a process that he’s going to now need to go through. I think he understands that and incidentally, it’s now with the Nets who are working with specifics.”
It will be interesting to see where all parties involved go from here. Irving is losing a lot of money right now. His Nike deal also appears to be on the verge of ending.
Beyond that, the Los Angeles Lakers, a team with prior interest in Irving, has made it abundantly clear where it stands on him now.
LeBron James’ recent comments on the matter are also quite telling.
Irving has messed up and been given second, third and fourth chances for years now. So there is no reason to assume this will be any different.
The photos speak for themselves:https://t.co/PTgbznBhZk
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 11, 2022
Clearly Silver is laying the groundwork for his return.
When will that return actually happen, though?
An answer will emerge in the coming days.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.