Charles Barkley, NBA and Basketball Hall of Fame analyst, says he thinks the league “dropped the ball” Keri Irving After the Brooklyn Nets star tweeted an anti-Semitic documentary.
“I think that [Irving] It should have been suspended. I think Adam [Silver, the NBA commissioner] Barkley said on TNT Tuesday before the Nets’ game against the Chicago Bulls, in which Irving appeared.
“First of all, Adam is Jewish. You can’t take 40 million dollars [Irving’s reported salary] insulting my religion.
“You are going to insult me, you have the right, but I have the right to say no. You are not going to take $40 million and insult my debt. I think the NBA, they made a mistake.”
Irving told reporters Saturday that he “will not compromise on anything I believe in” after he was condemned, among others, by Nets owner Joe Tsai for tweeting a link to the 2018 movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.”
“In terms of backlash, we’re in 2022, and history isn’t supposed to hide from anyone, and I’m not a divisive person when it comes to religion, I embrace all walks of life,” Irving said.
The film is based on Ronald Dalton’s book of the same name, which has been criticized by civil rights groups as anti-Semitic.
“The book and the film promote trade in deeply anti-Semitic themes including those promoted by dangerous sects of the Black Hebrew Bani Israel movement,” chirp Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
The National Basketball Association released a statement calling hate speech “unacceptable” and “contrary to the NBA’s values of equality, inclusion and respect.”
“We believe we all have a role to play in ensuring that such words or ideas, including anti-Semitic words or ideas, are challenged and refuted, and we will continue to work with all members of the NBA community to ensure that everyone understands the impact of their words and actions,” the university statement added.
The network also said it “strongly condemns and does not tolerate the promotion of any form of hate speech.”
Asked why Irving was not disciplined for his tweet, Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters, “I think we’re having these discussions behind the scenes. I honestly don’t want to get into those right now… really just trying to assess the best course of action here.”
Marks added that the team is in discussions with the ADL. He did not say whether Irving was part of those discussions with the Anti-Defamation League.
Late Wednesday, Nets, Irving and ADL released a joint statement saying that Irving and Nets will each donate $500,000 “to causes and organizations that work to eliminate hate and intolerance in our communities.”
In the statement, Irving said he is a “learning person from all walks of life” and intends to continue learning with an open mind and a willingness to listen. He wrote that he intended no harm “to any group, race or religion of the people, and only wanted to be a beacon of truth and light.”
“I oppose all forms of hate and oppression and stand strong with marginalized and affected communities every day,” Irving said in the joint statement released. I am aware of the negative impact of my position on the Jewish community and I take responsibility. I don’t think everything said in the documentary was true or reflective of my morals and principles.”
In a turbulent period for the organization, the Nets also announced on Tuesday that they have split from coach Steve Nash.
The announcement came before the Nets’ 108-99 loss to the Bulls to go 2-6 on the season, with Jack Vaughn appointed as interim head coach.
Marks denied that the Nash shooting was related to Kyrie Irving’s situation.
“No. No, we’re trying to separate the two.
“It’s a good question, and it’s kind of easy to put it all together, but I think in terms of where we’re at, we’re trying to separate the basketball team and what’s best for the team that keeps moving forward.”
ESPN and The Athletic report that Brooklyn may hire suspended Boston Celtics coach Im Odoka, But Marks said the team has yet to pick the next coach.
“I don’t really think it’s up to me at the moment to give a list of candidates that we’re talking to and where we’re going to grow up, and we’re going to drop that, but I’m going to say I’m going to keep that when those decisions are made.”
“I couldn’t give a timeline for that,” Marx continued. “There is a reason we took this step when we did it because time is running out. We want this process to be thorough. We are not going to skip steps in this and we will do the due diligence like everyone else.”
Against the Bulls, Irving started the night 0-for-7 from the field, including going 0 of 4 out of a three-point range, and didn’t score his first points until 10:20 remained in the fourth quarter.
He finished with four points, seven assists, and six rebounds, while Zach Lavigne scored 20 of 29 points in the fourth quarter to help the Bulls win.
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