NBA analyst and Basketball Corridor of Famer Charles Barkley says he thinks the league “dropped the ball” on Kyrie Irving after the Brooklyn Nets star tweeted a documentary deemed to be antisemitic.
“I think he [Irving] should have been suspended. I think Adam [Silver, the NBA commissioner] should have suspended him,” Barkley stated on TNT Tuesday forward of the Nets’ sport in opposition to the Chicago Bulls, through which Irving featured.
“To begin with, Adam is Jewish. You’ll be able to’t take my $40 million [Irving’s reported salary] and insult my faith.
“You’re going to insult me, you have the right, but I have the right to say no. You’re not going to take my $40 million and insult my religion. I think the NBA, they have made a mistake.”
Irving advised reporters on Saturday that he’s “not going to stand down on anything I believe in” after he was condemned by, amongst others, Nets proprietor Joe Tsai for tweeting a hyperlink to the 2018 film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.”
“In terms of the backlash, we’re in 2022, history is not supposed to be hidden from anybody and I’m not a divisive person when it comes to religion, I embrace all walks of life,” Irving stated.
The film is predicated on Ronald Dalton’s guide of the identical title, which has been blasted as being antisemitic by civil rights teams.
“The book and film he promotes trade in deeply #antisemitic themes including those promoted by dangerous sects of the Black Hebrew Israelites movement,” tweeted Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
The NBA launched an announcement calling hate speech “unacceptable” and “counter to the NBA’s values of equality, inclusion and respect.”
“We believe we all have a role to play in ensuring such words or ideas, including antisemitic ones, are challenged and refuted and we will continue working with all members of the NBA community to ensure that everyone understands the impact of their words and actions,” the league’s assertion added.
The Nets additionally stated they “strongly condemn and have no tolerance for the promotion of any form of hate speech.”
Requested why Irving hasn’t been disciplined for his tweet, Nets common supervisor Sean Marks advised reporters: “I think we are having these discussions behind the scenes. I honestly don’t want to really get into those right now … Really just trying to weigh out exactly what the best course of action is here.”
Marks added that the staff is having discussions with the ADL. He wouldn’t say whether or not Irving was part of these discussions with the ADL.
Late Wednesday, the Nets group, Irving and ADL launched a joint assertion saying that Irving and the Nets every will donate $500,000 “toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities.”
Irving stated within the assertion he’s a human being “learning from all walks of life” and intends to continue learning with an open thoughts and willingness to hear. He wrote that he meant no hurt to “any one group, race or religion of people, and wish to only be a beacon of truth and light.”
“I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” Irving stated within the launched joint assertion. “I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility. I do not believe everything said in the documentary was true or reflects my morals and principles.”
In a tumultuous interval for the group, the Nets additionally introduced on Tuesday that they’d parted methods with head coach Steve Nash.
The announcement got here earlier than the Nets’ 108-99 loss in opposition to the Bulls to go 2-6 on the season, with Jacque Vaughn appointed as interim head coach.
Marks denied that Nash’s firing had something to do with the Kyrie Irving state of affairs.
“No. No. We try to separate the two things,” he stated.
“It’s a good question, and it’s easy to sort of lump it all in, but I think for where we’re at, we’re trying to separate the basketball side and what’s best for the team moving on.”
ESPN and The Athletic reported that Brooklyn might rent suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka, however Marks stated that the staff has but to decide on the subsequent coach.
“I really don’t think it’s up to me right now to give a list of candidates who we’re talking to and where we’re going to arise and we’re going to fall on this, but I would say I will reserve that for when those decisions are made,” he added.
“I couldn’t give you a timeline of that,” continued Marks. “There’s a reason why we made this move when we did because time is ticking. We do want this process to be a thorough one. We’re not going to skip steps in that and we’ll do our due diligence like on anybody.”
In opposition to the Bulls, Irving began the evening 0-for-7 from the sector, together with going 0-of-4 from three-point vary, not scoring his first factors till there was 10:20 left within the fourth quarter.
He completed with 4 factors, seven assists and 6 rebounds, whereas Zach LaVine recorded 20 of his 29 factors within the fourth quarter to assist the Bulls to victory.