Last Updated on November 6, 2022
NBA star Kyrie Irving has been issued a lengthy list of requirements he must fulfill in order to formally return to the Brooklyn Nets once his suspension ends. Irving was suspended by the team for five games after sharing a documentary titled: Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, which has been deemed antisemitic. Many have questioned the severity of the suspension and backlash considering Irving never made antisemitic comments, saying he “respects all walks of life” when asked about the post.
NBA insider Shams Charania listed the requirements laid out by the team in order for Irving to return from suspension. The former NBA champion must apologize and condemn the movie, donate $500,000 to “anti-hate causes,” attend both “sensitivity” and “antisemitism” training, meet with the “ADL/Jewish leaders,” and meet with Nets owner Joe Tsai to “demonstrate understanding.”
Many NBA fans pointed out the heavy-handed nature of the punishment, which far outweighs those doled out to past players found guilty of violent acts. “Bro has to complete side missions just to play basketball,” one lakers fan account replied, garnering over 23,000 likes. Many compared the situation to the NBA 2K franchise, where players are required to complete non-basketball tasks in order to advance in franchise modes.
bro has to complete side missions just to play basketball lmfao
— Lakers in… (@onlytaron) November 6, 2022
Nets owner Joe Tsai has also become a topic of conversation due to his enthusiastic support for the Chinese Communist Regime. Tsai’s Alibaba — which effectively functions as the Asian version of Amazon — funded technology used by China to track its citizens, which was “used widely” in the region where over one million Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities were forced into barbed-wire camps for “re-education,” according to a report from ESPN.
“I’m disappointed that Joe Tsai appears to support a Chinese Communist Party that kills and enslaves far more than any book or movie,” U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) wrote in response to Tsai’s initial tweet condemning Kyrie Irving.
The Brooklyn Nets are suspending @KyrieIrving for his opinions while allowing @joetsai1999, who defends actual Muslim genocide in China, to own the team. Please explain, Adam Silver. Seems like the player is being held to a far higher standard than the owner.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) November 4, 2022
Irving himself initially rejected the idea that he was “promoting” anything in the video. “I was on Google and I look up my name and what it means and it’s a title given to Christ. Philippians 2:11. My name translates into the Hebrew language as Yahweh. So I went on Amazon Prime and said, ‘let me see if there are any documentaries on Yahweh,” Irving said when asked about the video by ESPN’s Nick Friedell.
Irving — who sat out for the bulk of last year’s NBA season in protest of New York City’s vaccine mandate — added that he does not harbor any hatred towards any group and respects “all walks of life.”
This proved insufficient, however, as both the Brooklyn Nets and Irving soon announced that they would each be donating $500,000 to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). “I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” Kyrie Irving said in his formal apology.
This also proved to be unsatisfactory, as the team ordered Kyrie Irving to serve a five-game suspension. Nike also announced that they would be suspending their relationship with the Nets point guard.