The Brooklyn Nets on Thursday suspended guard Kyrie Irving for a least five games without pay, saying he's "currently unfit to be associated" with the team after his repeated refusal to apologize for posting about an antisemitic movie last week. "Over the last several days, we have made repeated attempts to work with Kyrie Irving to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions," the Nets said. His refusal to "disavow antisemitism when given a clear opportunity" was "deeply disturbing" and constituted "conduct detrimental to the team."
Since Irving posted about Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, the NBA, the Nets, the National Basketball Players Association, and team owner Joe Tsai issued statements against antisemitism, the Nets fired coach Steve Nash, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expressed his disappointment that Irving's "has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize."
Irving gave it another go Thursday afternoon in a press conference, and it didn't go well. After the Nets announced the punishment, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt called suspension "well-deserved" and said the ADL will no longer accept the $500,000 donation Irving announced Wednesday to support anti-hate causes with the Jewish organization.
Irving, 30, won't take the court again until at least Nov. 13, assuming he meets the conditions the Nets set for his reinstatement. The suspension will cost the all-star guard $1.25 million of his $36.9 million salary this year, The Washington Post reports.