Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has faced widespread backlash after sharing a documentary many critics have deemed to be antisemitic.
Last week, Kyrie Irving offered an apology for promoting Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America on his Twitter page. That mea culpa came after the Nets organization suspended Irving for a minimum of five games without pay.
In addition, the Nets presented a list of requirements Kyrie Irving must complete in order to return to the team. Kyrie Irving has to condemn the film, donate $500,000 to anti-hate causes, and complete sensitivity/anti-Semitism training.
The Nets also want Irving to meet with the Anti-Defamation League organization and other Jewish community leaders. Plus, he has to sit down with Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai to demonstrate an understanding of the situation.
CNN’s Jake Tapper interviewed NBA legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, about the Kyrie Irving controversy. National Basketball Players Association Vice President Jaylen Brown expressed concerns about the suspension. However, Abdul-Jabbar focused on Irving’s role in bolstering anti-Semitism.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Believes Kyrie Irving Is Being Used By Hate-Mongers
“I think Kyrie has to understand what’s happening. He’s being unwittingly used to promote hatred and anti-Semitism,” stated Abdul-Jabbar. “Even though he doesn’t see himself as being anti-Semitic, by joining forces and making posts like that, he can be used.”
Jake Tapper also asked Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about NFL player DeSean Jackson and Hip Hop artist Kanye “Ye” West’s controversial statements that were also perceived as anti-Semitic. The 6-time NBA champion tied those instances involving Irving, Jackson, and Ye to a greater cultural fight.
“I think the lack of awareness of the harm that they’re doing, both to the Black community and other communities – the LGBT community, the Latinx community, all of these marginalized communities – are all really in one lump,” answered Abdul-Jabbar.
He continued, “If we don’t try to protect everyone, we won’t protect anyone. We have to have that attitude about it and make sure that all marginalized groups receive the same protections as the groups that are used to getting that protection and feeling safe.”