Updated: Jan 12
Brooklyn Nets star point guard, Kyrie Irving, is suspended as of November 3rd, 2022, after he tweeted a link to “Hebrew to Negroes: Wake up Black America”, an anti-semitic propaganda documentary. Irving was consequenced to an eight game suspension after his public offense and his long-standing contract with Nike has officially been terminated.
After canceling the release of his Kyrie 8 signature shoe which was planned to launch this month, Nike released the statement, “We believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism. To that end, we've made the decision to suspend our relationship with Kyrie Irving effective immediately and will no longer launch the Kyrie 8. We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”
This controversy has led basketball greats, Shaquille O'Neal, Reggie Miller, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, and former Nets coach Amar'e Stoudemire to speak out against Kyrie Irving’s overt anti-semitism, expressing their lack of disrespect for him and his recent ignorance.
In attempts to pay for his actions, Kyrie Irving and the Nets Franchise pledged to donate $500,000 towards Jewish hate-intolerance organizations. Irving finally issued an apology with a caption reading, “I take full accountability and responsibility for my actions. 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.”
NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, publicly announced that he does not believe Irving is anti-semetic. Silver stated, “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”. As a result of this, Kyrie Irving will not suffer any permanent consequences from the NBA, after his eight game suspension. Irving is said to return back to the court on Sunday, November 20th, against the Memphis Grizzlies.