Kyrie Irving suspension: Jaylen Brown says NBPA has issues with Nets guard reinstatement demands

Kyrie Irving suspension: Jaylen Brown says NBPA has issues with Nets guard reinstatement demands

Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, who serves as vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, said the union had issues with the stated requirements for Kyrie Irving’s reinstatement to the Brooklyn Nets. Additionally, the Players Association plans to appeal Irving’s suspension.

In an interview with the boston globe Monday before the team’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Brown said he had discussions with Irving, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio about the situation.

“I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is anti-Semitic,” Brown said. “I don’t think the members of our governing bodies think he’s anti-Semitic. He made a mistake. We understand from an outside perspective how important sensitivity is to not condoning hate speech and don’t condone anything of that nature. It’s the dialect sensitivity around it. We don’t want to defend anyone for not condemning hate speech, but I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is anti-Semitic and I hope that the NBA feels the same way.

“There’s an interesting distinction between what someone says verbally and what someone posts as a link on a platform with no description behind it,” Brown said. “Some people will say there is no difference and some people will say there is a difference. There is no language in our ABC. There are no rules against it. It’s uncharted territory for everyone, and everyone is trying to figure out the difference between the two.”

The Nets suspended Irving for a minimum of five games on November 3 due to his repeated failure to disavow anti-Semitism and apologize for posting a link to a movie containing anti-Semitic tropes. Irving has since apologized on Instagram, but must also meet a list of six requirements to join the team. The list, according to Shams Charania:

  • Apologize and condemn the movie he promoted.
  • Donate $500,000 to anti-hate causes.
  • Complete sensitivity training.
  • Complete training in anti-Semitism.
  • Meeting with ADL and Jewish leaders.
  • Meet with team owner Joe Tsai to demonstrate an understanding of the situation.

Irving has served two games of his suspension and the earliest he could possibly return is Nov. 13 against the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s unclear where he sits on that checklist, though, and some in the league believe it was created in hopes he wouldn’t complete it, paving the way for a release, according to Marc Stein. If the Players Association appeals the suspension, that would change the situation, of course. Irving and Silver are scheduled to have a face-to-face meeting on Tuesday.

The Players Association released a statement Nov. 1 condemning anti-Semitism, but did not mention Irving by name.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in our society,” the statement said. “The NBPA is focused on creating an environment where everyone is accepted. We are committed to helping players fully understand that certain words can lead to the spread of hateful ideologies. We will continue to work to identify and address any hate speech wherever it occurs.”

According to Brown, the Players Association’s concern is that with no specific guidelines in place for a situation like this, Irving has received arbitrary and excessive punishment.

“The terms of his return, they seem like a lot, and a lot of players have expressed discomfort with the terms,” ​​Brown said.

“He made a mistake. He posted something. There was no distinction. Maybe we can move on, but the terms he has to fill in to come back, I don’t think just speak for me, speak as vice-president of a lot of our players, we didn’t agree with the terms it took for him to come back and we’re waiting for that meeting on Tuesday to see what happens. We’ll go from there. That’s all.


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