LeBron James Steps Into Kyrie Irving Situation and Shares Opinion He May Regret

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LeBron James Steps Into Kyrie Irving Situation and Shares Opinion He May Regret

Basketball

LeBron James Steps Into Kyrie Irving Situation and Shares Opinion He May Regret

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Kyrie Irving is a lot of things to basketball fans and fans in the NBA. He’s work the uniform of three teams during his career, beginning with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Boston Celtics, and now the Brooklyn Nets. He’s had six-career All-Star awards but has not won an MVP award. His career has been mostly potential-unfulfilled, and is often more a riddle than anything else. Nonetheless, he’s a deep thinker, often exploring controversial commentary and a willingness to embrace and promote an opinion no matter the consequences. In his latest self-made controversy, he may have “bitten off more than he can chew”, as his reputation and career hang in the balance.

In a recent social media post, Irving promoted a film seen as widely antisemtic. In a post on Irving’s Instagram account, he posted a link to a 2018 film, “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America”. The book by the same title, has been widely and correctly criticized for its anti-Semitic views. The condemnation was strong, as well as it should have been. From the Nets organization to the NBA, the Anti-Defamation League, and now Nike, Kyrie is now on an island. However, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has offered a lifeboat, as James went on the record in support of his fellow teammate in Cleveland, and advocated for the wayward NBA star. 

On Friday November 4th, LeBron offered these comments on Irving, saying, “If you are saying harmful things to any community that harms people, then I don’t respect it. I don’t condone it.” Yesterday, Thursday November 10th, James did an about face, issuing cia his Twitter account, what could be seen as an about face on his friend Kyrie Irving. 

“Help him learn — but he should be playing”, is as remarkably tone-deaf as Irving’s were. For to make such a leap from one position to where he is now is equally repugnant as what Irving initially posted on social media. And even though Kyrie deleted his original post from last Thursday with the link to the tweet, his original tweet remained on his account on Sunday, he would release a new tweet that missed the mark again.

The NBA would issue a statement saying”hate speech of any kind is unacceptable, and posted this on their communications account.

The Athletic, which has done a tremendous job with the story, posted the following on its Twitter account.

Nike has suspended its relationship with Irving, and the Nets have sat their star for no “no less than five games”. It’s a slap on the wrist for advocating such a film, and while Brooklyn has taken appropriate action, Kyrie’s tacit support of this film amidst a wave of antisemitism shows a troubling and deep character flaw that is Kyrie Irving AND LeBron James. It is nothing that should be ignored nor glossed over. While you may not be able to go so far as to say both are rooted in the darkness that is antisemitism, the NBA should address King James comments as they did Irving’s. It is the right thing to do. 

Irving and James have a huge profile and social media platform. Neither have shied away from making their personal observations and opinions known to their audience in the NBA and their respective and significant public profile. But both have erred in a way that deserves both attention and debate. Both are fallible as we all are. That said, neither deserves a pass on this topic, and both should be held accountable for their actions and words.

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