N.B.A. The head of the NBA defends Kyrie Irving, accused of anti-Semitism

NBA chief Adam Silver told the New York Times that Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving, suspended for promoting an anti-Semitic movie, was not anti-Semitic. “He is someone I have known for years and I have never heard him say anything anti-Semitic or make hateful comments towards any community”Silver explained after meeting Irving.

“He must be able to play again”

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

On October 27, Irving, already known for spreading conspiracy theories, posted on his Instagram and Twitter accounts the “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” ​​poster and links to the site of Amazon that allow you to rent or buy this movie. which contains, among other things, a quote attributed to Adolf Hitler and denying the reality of the Holocaust.

The former Cleveland player was fined by the Nets who suspended him for at least five games, without pay, and ended up apologizing. If you think the penalty imposed on Irving is “the right decision”Adam Silver, criticized especially by former players for the slowness of his reaction, recognizes this“We could have done it faster”.

“I accept this criticism, but I thought it important to understand the context of the publication of these remarks in order to know what sanction was appropriate”, he explained to the New York Times. For his part, NBA and Lakers star LeBron James loved on his social networks that Irving, his former teammate in Cleveland, should “Being able to play again”.

“As I’ve said before, we shouldn’t post content that could hurt and I’ll keep saying that, but Kyrie has apologized and he needs to be able to play again. […] It’s as simple as that, you have to help him understand.added “King James.”

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Finally, the founder of equipment manufacturer Nike, Phil Knight, told CNBC that he “I doubted it (Irving’s partnership with Nike suspended) summary “.

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