Kyrie Irving suspension: Jaylen Brown says NBPA is having trouble with requests to reinstate Nets guard

Kyrie Irving suspension: Jaylen Brown says NBPA is having trouble with requests to reinstate Nets guard

Boston Celtics forward, Jaylen Brownwho is vice president of the National Basketball Association, says the union is having trouble with demands for Kyrie Irving reinstatement Brooklyn Nets. Furthermore, the Players Association plans to appeal Irving’s suspension.

U interview with The Boston Globe at Monday before the team’s match against Memphis GrizzliesBrown said he spoke with Irving, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio on the situation.

“I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is anti-Semitic,” Brown said. “I don’t think people in our governing bodies think he’s anti-Semitic. He’s wrong. From an outside perspective, we understand how important the sensitivity is to not justify hate speech and not exaggerate anything like that. It’s a sensitivity to the dialectic around it. We don’t want to advocate for someone not to condemn hate speech, but I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is anti-Semitic, and hopefully the NBA feels the same way.

“There’s an interesting difference between what someone says verbally and what someone posts as a link on the platform without a description,” Brown said. “Some people will argue there’s no difference and some people will argue there is a difference. There’s no language in our CBA. There’s no rule against it. This is uncharted territory for everybody, and everybody’s trying to figure out the difference between the two.”

The Nets suspended Irving for at least five games on Nov. 3 for his repeated failure to renounce anti-Semitism and apologize for posting a link to a movie that contained anti-Semitic tropes. Irving has since apologized on Instagram, but they must also fulfill a list of six requirements to rejoin the team. The list, according to Shams Charania:

  • Apologize and condemn the film he promoted.
  • Donate $500,000 to fight hate.
  • Complete sensitivity training.
  • Complete anti-Semitism training.
  • Meet with ADL and Jewish leaders.
  • Meet with team owner Joe Tsai to show understanding of the situation.

Irving served a two-game suspension, and the earliest he could return is Nov. 13 against Los Angeles Lakers. It’s unclear, however, where he sits on that checklist, and there are those in the league who believe it was created with the expectation that 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 expected to have a face-to-face meeting on Tuesday.

The players’ association released a statement on Nov. 1 condemning anti-Semitism, but did not mention Irving by name.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in our society,” the announcement states. “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 combat hate speech wherever it occurs.”

According to Brown, the Players Association is concerned that Irving received an arbitrary and excessive punishment without specific guidelines for this situation.

“The conditions for his return seem to be great, and many players have expressed discomfort with the conditions,” Brown said.

“He made a mistake. He announced something. It didn’t make a difference. Maybe we can move forward, but the conditions he has to meet to come back, I don’t think I’m just speaking for myself, I’m speaking as the vice president from many of our players, we didn’t agree to the terms that it took to get him back and we’re waiting for this meeting on Tuesday to see what comes of it. But let’s go from there. That’s all I’m going to say.”

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