Kyrie Irving spoke to the media on Thursday and made his situation with the Brooklyn Nets even more difficult.
The press availability occurred soon after commissioner Adam Silver released a statement saying he was disappointed that Irving did not apologize for promoting an antisemitic film.
Irving argued to reporters that he “cannot be antisemitic,” and refused to offer an apology.
The Nets announced Thursday night that Irving has been suspended.
In a statement, the Nets condemned Irving for not taking the opportunity to clearly state that he does not hold antisemitic beliefs, and announced that Irving will be suspended without pay until “he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct.”
We believed that taking the path of education in this challenging situation would be the right one and thought that we had made progress with our joint commitment to eradicating hate and intolerance.
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.
Such failure to disavow antisemitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, is against the values of our organization, and constitutes conduct detrimental to the team. Accordingly, we are of the view that he is currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.”