Kyrie Irving’s tweet causes controversy in the media


Erik Drost via Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-2.0)

Kyrie Irving was left with many questions to answer following his recent twitter scandal.

Adam Bello, Sports Editor

Hours prior to a Thursday night game between the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks, Brooklyn Nets star player, Kyrie Irving shared a link to a movie titled, “Hebrews to Negros” on his Twitter page. This movie, released in 2018, is filled with antisemitic rhetoric and propaganda, leaving Irving with many questions to answer.

The Nets organization and the NBA initially gave Irving a five-game suspension following his tweet, releasing multiple public statements about the matter. As Irving was a fairly controversial player already, Nike was already considering not renewing his contract but they officially cut ties with him after this event transpired. 

Irving had not yet issued an official apology to the public by the day after his initial tweet. NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, released a statement on Nov. 3 saying, “I am disappointed that [Kyrie Irving] has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize.”

The Brooklyn Nets decided to suspend Irving from the team indefinitely on Nov. 3, after Irving neither apologized for the incident nor denied that he had antisemitic beliefs. A day later, Nike suspended their shoe endorsement deal with Irving and officially ended their partnership weeks later.

On Nov. 5, the Brooklyn Nets gave Irving six items to complete in order to rejoin the team: apologize, condemn the movie, make a $500K donation to anti-hate causes, go through sensitivity and antisemitic training and meet with Anti-Defamation League leaders.

Silver decided to meet with Irving in New York, on Nov. 10, to discuss the situation and Irving’s future with the NBA. The commissioner, a Jewish man himself, claimed that he did not believe Irving was antisemitic but he stated, “Whether or not he is antisemitic is not relevant to the damage caused by the posting of harmful content.”

Irving returned to the team in a match-up with the Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 20. Many believe Irving should not have been able to return to the court while others believe his punishment was too severe. 

Jewish community member and 11th-grade student, Jake Sinel, gave his insight on the situation. He said, “Although Kyrie made a grave mistake in promoting an antisemitic film, I believe that he doesn’t have any hatred towards the Jewish community and the media portrayed him as someone he is not. This being said, I believe that he should have repercussions to learn from his actions.  However, he should still be allowed to play in the NBA.”

The spread of hate and bias in America has been a problem for years but the recent jump of antisemitism in the U.S. in the last year is substantial. 

Ninth grade Masters parent and rabbi, Benjamin Spratt, shared his worries around these incidents. He said, “My biggest concern about the recent spike of antisemitic rhetoric and violence in the country is not simply just against the safety of American Jews, it’s that this is a sign of the kind of hate we are going to be seeing already bubbling up in many other sectors of society.” 

Spratt remarked on Irving’s timing in his apology. He said, “Though not immediate, in the wake of it [Irving] did express remorse and a deep apology. Unfortunately because of the nature of our attention spans these days, I’m not sure many people were paying attention to the apology and so I think it raises a really interesting question about what the responsibility that those in the public eye have in the words and the actions that they take and how one gauges  restorative justice.”