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Brooklyn Nets suspend Kyrie Irving without pay after antisemitic social media post

The Brooklyn Nets announced on Thursday they have suspended guard Kyrie Irving without pay after a post he made on social media last week contained a link to an antisemitic movie. The team said he would be suspended without pay for at least five games.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver had released a statement earlier on Thursday, saying in part, “I am disappointed that he [Irving] has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize.”  Irving responded on Thursday to say that while he “takes responsibility” for his actions, he stopped short of offering a formal apology.

The Nets said that after a media appearance earlier in the day, Irving failed to declare that he has no antisemitic beliefs or acknowledge the content of the film. Their statement said: “We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film. This was not the first time he had the opportunity — but failed — to clarify … We have decided that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct and the suspension period served is no less than five games.”

Irving has been roundly criticized since last week, when he tweeted a link to the 2018 movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which is based on Ronald Dalton’s book of the same name. In a joint statement on Wednesday with the Nets and Anti-Defamation League, Irving said he opposed all forms of hatred, with Irving and the Nets adding they would each donate $500,000 toward organizations that work to eradicate hate.

Editorial credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

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