A few courtside seats at the Brooklyn-Indiana game on Monday night were packed with people wearing “Fight Antisemitism” shirts, days after Nets star Kyrie Irving tweeted a link to a movie with anti-Jewish stereotypes.
On Thursday, Irving sent a link to the movie Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America on Twitter. Meanwhile, according to the Amazon summary, the movie “uncovers the actual identity of the Children of Israel.” Moreover, the maker of the movie denies the existence of the Holocaust and uses a fictitious remark from Adolf Hitler to advance an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
Courtside at the Nets game
(h/t @Alec_Sturm ) pic.twitter.com/4UKj4iFteY
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) November 1, 2022
Irving Defended His Position
However, Irving defended his choice to tweet about the movie on Saturday. Still, he later removed the message in response to a huge reaction that included condemnation from Nets owner Joe Tsai and the Anti-Defamation League and an NBA statement condemning hate speech. Meanwhile, Irving maintained his freedom to post whatever he believed and claimed on Saturday that he loved all religions.
“I’m not going to stand down on anything I believe in,” Irving said. “I’m only going to get stronger because I’m not alone. I have a whole army around me.”
Meanwhile, the Nets coach, Steve Nash, said on Monday regarded the situation as “an opportunity for us to grow and understand new perspectives”.
“I think the organization is trying to take that stance, or they may communicate through this, and try to all come out in a better position and with more understanding and empathy for every side of this debate and situation,” Nash said.
Irving Needs To Be Punished
In light of the historic number of hate crimes against Jews in America, one Nets season ticket holder at the game told ESPN that Irving should be penalized.
“I hope he realizes how much antisemitism he is stoking by putting out [a link to] a film like this,” said Aaron Jungreis. “Which is extremely anti-Jewish. And I hope he comes to his senses … I think he should be suspended and understand what he did, but I don’t know if they will. ”
Irving has previously advocated for the flattening of the Earth, recently posted a video by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and missed most of the Nets’ home games last season due to his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, which is required in New York City. Moreover, Irving could be in his final season with the Nets since they declined to extend his deal with them this summer.