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LeBron James talks about Kyrie Irving, but NBA players are mostly silent – period

LeBron James talks about Kyrie Irving, but NBA players are mostly silent – period

On Friday, the Lakers advance LeBron James he finally spoke Kyrie Irving situation, a day after the Brooklyn Nets guard and former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate was suspended for anti-Semitic comments.

James, who has been quick to speak out numerous times on various race-related controversies, finally got around to addressing the Irving situation after a day of silence.

“He did some damage, and I think it’s unfortunate,” James told reporters. “But I’m not in a position to harm people when it comes to your voice or your platform or whatever. So it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how tall you are, what position you are in. If you promote or solicit or say harmful things to any community that harms people, then I don’t respect that. I don’t approve of that.”

James also mentioned his media company Uninterrupted’s decision to launch an episode of his YouTube show, shop, with Kanye West, himself embroiled in controversy over his anti-Semitic statements.

“Part of the reason I didn’t broadcast Shop episode, why we took it out of the archives,” he said. “Because there was a conversation about hate. And I’m not advocating that. There is no place in this world for that. No one can benefit from that, and I believe what Kyrie did hurt a lot of people.”

Irving was finally suspended by the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday for his anti-Semitic comments and ambiguous apology. But it would be several days before the team took its first action on the matter, twice monitoring Irving’s statements on the matter, which were mostly scathing.

That wrong approach was at the top NBA league commissioner Adam Silver, who said he would meet with Irving “in the next week” to discuss the matter. He will have plenty of time to schedule, as Irving is now on an indefinite suspension of at least five games, but likely more.

But the slow action against Irving by the Nets and the league is actually better than the reaction of the players, who mostly took a “shoot and dribble” approach.

Irving’s Nets teammate, Kevin Durant, actually thought his team shouldn’t be involved in the mess Irving made.

“I’m not here to judge anybody or talk about life or how they feel about their attitudes and things,” Durant said. “I just didn’t like anything that happened. I felt like it was all unnecessary. I felt like we could have kept playing basketball and kept quiet as an organization.”

So far, James and Cleveland’s Robin Lopez are the only active players to condemn Irving’s actions. Although Lopez has not officially issued a statement, his Twitter activity has made his stance on the matter clear.

The National Basketball Association issued a statement condemning anti-Semitism, perhaps providing some cover for its membership.

“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 appears.”

Despite the silence of active players, several retired NBA players echoed Irving’s comments.

Reggie Millerformer NBA star turned basketball commentator, spoke during TNT’s broadcast of Tuesday night’s Chicago Bulls-Brooklyn Nets game to chastise the current players for their silence.

“In years past, this league has been great because the players have led and have strong voices,” Miller said. “When (former Los Angeles Clippers owner) Donald Sterling got into it, when (Phoenix Suns owner) Robert Sarver having only recently stepped into it, our voices in the basketball community and our players have been vocally strong in some sort of discipline that is passed on – or gone.

“The players dropped the ball on this case when it was one of theirs. It was crickets.”





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