NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has called Kyrie Irving “out of step with reality” for refusing to apologize for posting anti-Semitic material on his Twitter, saying there is “little hope” the Nets star will change.
Irving was suspended by the Nets without payment for at least five games after a media release on Thursday, where he declined to answer whether he held anti-Semitic beliefs, saying he “cannot be anti-Semitic if he knows where he comes from.”
And earlier Thursday, the Lakers icon took Abdul-Jabbar to his… share pile to criticize the Nets player.
“Irving has been defiant about his postings. You can read his lengthy, disjointed, sometimes contradictory defense here,” as he linked to an article in which Irving denied that the film he shared, “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” was anti-Semitic.
‘He mainly shows his lack of awareness of how history works. It’s not an all-you-can-eat buffet where you can pick the dishes you like without understanding the context,” Abdul-Jabbar continued.
His inability to understand why his posts are news can be seen in this statement: “Things are being posted every day. I’m no different from the next human being, so don’t treat me differently. You guys come in here and make up this powerful influence I have (and say) you can’t post that. Why not? Why not?'”
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was full of criticism of Kyrie Irving on his Substack on Thursday
“If he really thinks that someone with millions of followers spewing hate speech is the same as Jim in accounting posts on Facebook, then he’s really out of step with reality.”
Irving last week posted a link to the Amazon page for the 2018 film — which is based on a 2015 book of the same name.
The film has been described as “toxicly anti-Semitic,” and Rolling Stone pointed out that in Ronald Dalton Jr.’s book. it is noted that “many famous high-ranking Jews” have “conceded”[ing] Satan or Lucifer.’
Irving and the Nets organization pledged to partner with the Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday, in addition to donating $500k individually to causes that “eradicate intolerance.”
Kyrie Irving refused to answer to media on Thursday whether he held anti-Semitic beliefs
Irving accepted responsibility for his actions and accepted that the film contained “dubious and untrue” content, but made no apologies, with Abdul-Jabbar suggesting that his words were not sincere.
“The Nets eventually forced Irving to acknowledge the damage he’s done and donate $500,000 to groups that oppose hate speech,” he said.
In his statement you can almost hear his arm being twisted: ‘I am against all forms of hatred and oppression and I stand strongly against communities that are marginalized and influenced every day. I am aware of the negative impact of my post on the Jewish community and I take responsibility.”
“But there was no explicit apology — telling us all about what he really believes.
Frankly, there is little hope that he will change because he is isolated by fame and money and surrounded by yes people. There is no motivation to learn to distinguish propaganda from fact. All that’s left is for the world to decide how to respond to him.”
The Brooklyn Nets star attracted attention by publishing the 2018 film ‘Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America’ on social media with a link to the Amazon page
On the other hand, Abdul-Jabbar praised former NBA stars (and current TV analysts) Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley for their criticism of Irving earlier this week.
Barkley said on Wednesday that the NBA “dropped the ball” by not suspending Irving, while O’Neal said he was “injured” by Irving’s actions and that Nets’ guard “doesn’t really care what’s going on.” the hand’.
Miller also criticized Irving’s fellow players because the “crickets” he heard in them didn’t speak to him.
And Abdul-Jabbar was effusive in his praise for the trio.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Shaq, Charles and Reggie for their bold and straightforward comments. They are at the forefront of black athletes condemning Kyrie Irving and Ye (Kanye West)’s recent anti-Semitic social media posts. It’s a real ‘I’m Spartacus’ moment.”
Irving will miss at least five games for the Nets, although the team noted in a statement that he would not be back “until he complies with a series of objective corrective measures that address the damaging impact of his behaviour.”
NETWORK STATEMENT COMPLETE
Over the past few days, we’ve repeatedly tried to work with Kyrie Irving to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, which started with publishing a film of deeply disturbing anti-Semitic hatred.
We believed it would be the right path to follow the path of education in this challenging situation and thought we had made progress in our joint commitment to eradicate hate and bigotry.
When given the opportunity in a media session today, we were stunned that Kvrie refused to state unequivocally that he has no anti-Semitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film.
This wasn’t the first time he’d had the chance—but he failed—to clarify. Such failure to reject anti-Semitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, violates our organization’s values, and constitutes behavior that is detrimental to the team.
Accordingly, we believe he is currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets. We have decided that Kyrie will face a no-payment suspension until he complies with a set of objective corrective actions that address the harmful impact of his conduct, and the suspension period will be no less than five games.