NBA commissioner Adam Silver met with suspended Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving earlier this week to discuss his antisemitic rhetoric in recent weeks.
Following the pair’s conversation, Silver spoke with the New York Times and said that while he has “no doubt” that Kyrie Irving is not antisemitic, that’s “not relevant to the damage caused by posting the hateful content.”
Adam Silver gives an update on Kyrie Irving to the New York Times following the pair’s meeting earlier this week
“He’s someone I’ve known for a decade, and I’ve never heard an antisemitic word from him or, frankly, hate directed at any group… Whether or not he is antisemitic is not relevant to the damage caused by the posting of hateful content.”
Silver also weighed in on the length and conditions of Irving’s suspension, which LeBron James recently called “excessive”:
“I feel that we got to the right outcome here in terms of his suspension,” Silver told the New York Times. “And in retrospect, we may have been able to get there faster. I accept that criticism. But I felt it was important to understand the context in which it was posted to understand what discipline was appropriate, not in any way to excuse it but to understand what discipline was appropriate.”
In order for Irving to return to the Nets, the organization laid out six things that the 30-year-old must do before he’s reinstated: apologize/condemn the film “Hebrews to Negroes”, make a $500,000 donation to antihate causes, go through sensitivity training and antisemitic training, meet with the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish leaders, and finally, meets with Nets owner Joe Tsai to demonstrate understanding.
In addition to LeBron James, NBPA vice president Jaylen Brown also echoed a similar sentiment.