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NBA boss says Kyrie Irving is not anti-Semitic


Adam Silver assured the New York Times that Kyrie Irving, suspended for promoting an anti-Semitic film, was not anti-Semitic. “Whether he is anti-Semitic or not has nothing to do with the damage he has caused by posting this hateful content,” the NBA boss noted, however.

He says he had a “frank and sincere” conversation with Kyrie Irving. NBA boss Adam Silver told The New York Times that the Brooklyn Nets player, who was suspended for promoting an anti-Semitic film, was not anti-Semitic.

“He’s someone I’ve known for years and I’ve never heard him say anything anti-Semitic or hateful to any community,” Silver said after meeting Irving, adding that he had “no doubt” that Irving was not an anti-Semite.

“We had a frank and sincere conversation,” he added, about this interview organized within the framework of the sanctions against Irving imposed by the NBA and his team of the Brooklyn Nets which also include meetings with representatives of the Jewish community. “Whether he is anti-Semitic or not has nothing to do with the damage he has caused by posting this hateful content,” the NBA boss noted, however.

On October 27, Irving, already known for having relayed conspiracy theories, had published on his Instagram and Twitter accounts the poster of Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America and links to the Amazon site allowing you to rent or buy this film containing, among other things, a quote attributed to Adolf Hitler and denying the reality of the Holocaust.

Suspended at least five games

The former Cleveland player was sanctioned by the Nets who suspended him for at least five games, without receiving salary, and ended up apologizing. If he considers that the sanction imposed on Irving is “the right decision”, Adam Silver, criticized by former players in particular for the slowness of his reaction, recognizes that “we could have achieved it more quickly.

“I accept this criticism, but it seemed important to me to understand the context of the publication of these remarks to know what sanction was appropriate”, he explained to The New York Times.

For his part, NBA and Lakers star LeBron James said on his social networks that Irving, his former teammate in Cleveland, should “be able to play again”. “As I said before, we should not broadcast content that can hurt and I will continue to say it, but Kyrie has apologized and must be able to play again (…) It’s as simple as that, it takes l ‘help understand,’ added ‘King James’.

Finally, the founder of Nike equipment manufacturer Phil Knight told CNBC that he “doubted that (the partnership linking Irving with Nike suspended) would resume”.

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