The Brooklyn Nets on Thursday suspended star player Kyrie Irving as the controversy grows over his tweet with a link to an antisemitic movie.
The Nets said that during a media appearance earlier in the day, Irving failed to declare that he has no antisemitic beliefs or acknowledge the content of the film.
“We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film,” the Nets said in a statement. “This was not the first time he had the opportunity — but failed — to clarify.”
The team said he would be suspended without pay for at least five games.
“We have decided that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct and the suspension period served is no less than five games,” the team said in a statement.
Irving has been roundly criticized since last week when he tweeted a link to the 2018 movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which is based on Ronald Dalton’s book of the same name.
The suspension comes the same day that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the movie contains “deeply offensive antisemitic material.”
Silver also said Irving’s statements since the controversy erupted have fallen short.
“I am disappointed that he has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize,” Silver said in part in a statement.
Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.
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