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NBA commissioner Adam Silver blasts Kyrie Irving for posting ‘deeply offensive anti-Semitic material’

NBA commissioner Adam Silver lambasted Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving on Thursday, calling the player’s “reckless decision” to post “deeply offensive anti-Semitic material.”

Irving has been roundly criticized since last week when he tweeted a link to the 2018 film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which is based on Ronald Dalton’s book of the same name.

Rolling Stone magazine said the film is replete with “anti-Semitic tropes” and apparently adopts ideas more in line with extreme Black Hebrew Israelite factions, which have long been associated with homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

“Kyrie Irving has made the reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive anti-Semitic material,” Silver said in a statement.

Irving said Wednesday he opposes all forms of bigotry as he and the Brooklyn Nets both pledged to donate $500,000 each to anti-hate groups. Still, the player didn’t issue an unequivocal apology.

“While we appreciate that he has agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination, I am disappointed that he has not featured unreserved apology and specifically denouncing the despicable and damaging content contained in the film he has chosen to publicize,” Silver said.

The commissioner pledged to raise his concerns during a one-on-one with the Mercurial player shortly: “I will meet Kyrie in person next week to discuss this situation.”

The league, the team and the NBA world as a whole have come under mounting criticism over the response to Irving, who is expected to earn around $37 million this season.

“I think the NBA dropped the ball,” Hall of Fame player and prominent basketball commentator Charles Barkley told TNT earlier this week.

“I think he should have been suspended. I think Adam (Silver) should have been suspended. First of all, Adam is Jewish. You can’t take my $40 million and insult my religion. insult me, you have the right to. But I have the right to say, ‘No, you’re not going to take my $40 million and insult my religion.'”

In September, the NBA fined Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards $40,000 for making anti-LGBTQ remarks in a video on his Instagram account.

“I think the NBA made a mistake” by not taking immediate action against Irving, Barkley said. “We’ve suspended people and fined people for making homophobic slurs and that was the right thing to do. I think if you insult the black community you should be suspended or heavily fined. “

Irving added another headache to the Nets, who have won just two of their first eight games this season. The slow start prompted the Nets to part ways with coach Steve Nash this week.

Irving only played 29 games last season, largely because of his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19, in violation of then-city codes mandating shooting.

This isn’t the first time Irving has come under fire for promoting conspiracy theories and misinformation, including that Earth is flat, baseless rhetoric favored by Alex Jones.


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