Kyrie Irving Scandal


Ari Shemesh, Reporter

Over the course of the last few years, Kyrie Irving has made some pretty wild statements, including his controversial opinions on the earth being flat. More notably, last season, he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which kept him out for a large portion of the season. 

More recently, Irving, who is one of the vice presidents in the NBA players’ union, promoted a movie, called “Hebrew to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” on Twitter, which promoted anti-semitic ideas, including the notion that the Holocaust was fake. Additionally, he posted a screenshot of a rental page to the movie on Amazon on his story on Instagram. The story expired 24 hours later and Irving deleted his tweet three days later. He made no caption or comment on either of these posts. 

Two days after his tweet was posted, during a news conference, Irving stated that, “History is not supposed to be hidden from anybody,” and that he would not stand down on his beliefs. 

Soon after, however, Irving posted on Instagram apologizing to the Jewish families and communities that he had hurt. He stated that he had, “initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic,” and apologized once again for promoting the documentary with no context. He, along with the Nets organization donated $500,000 each to various anti-hate causes. 

Regardless of his apologies, there are many repercussions for his promotion of the movie. On November third, he was suspended by the Nets organization that made a statement saying Kyrie was, “unfit to be associated with the team.”

Additionally, Nike decided to cancel the launch of the Kyrie 8 shoes, which had been in development for around five months. More importantly, Nike decided to break off their relationship with him, stating that, “we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any for of antisemitism.” 

Many NBA players have voiced their opinions on Kyrie and his punishments. Former NBA players such as Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, and Kareem Abdul-Jabaar believe that Kyrie deserved to face these punishments. 

Other players have voiced their disapproval of the NBA’s repercussions. Jaylen Brown, another vice president in the NBA players’ union, believes that the punishments are too harsh, because although he promoted the movie and originally refused to apologize, he never said anything anti-semitic. Lebron James, a former teammate of Kyrie, stated that due to his apology, he should be allowed to play. 

Many fans have voiced their dislike of Kyrie Irving, but it seems as though Irving will make his return to the court within the next week or so.