In light of the controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving, Nike has decided to cut ties with the Brooklyn Nets guard, which will likely be permanent. Nike co-founder Phil Knight made a public statement that Irving has “crossed a line” and that he “made statements that we can’t abide by, and that’s why we ended the relationship.”
Ever since Irving created this controversy when he promoted an antisemitic film on his Twitter page, Brown has given his thoughts as one of the NBPA’s vice presidents on the matter.
“I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic,” Brown told Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “I don’t think people in our governing bodies think he’s antisemitic. He made a mistake. We understand from an outside perspective how important sensitivity is to not condone hate speech and not condone anything of that nature. It’s sensitivity to the dialect around that. We don’t want to stand up for somebody in order to not condemn hate speech, but I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic. And hopefully, the NBA feels the same way.”
Celtics Players’ Thoughts on Irving
Jaylen Brown is not the only Celtic who also serves as the vice president of the NBPA. Malcolm Brogdon and Grant Williams are also vice presidents of the association. Both of them gave their thoughts to The Athletic following Irving’s suspension from the Nets.
Brogdon said that, despite Irving’s actions, he too is fit to be in his role as vice president of the players’ association.
“Absolutely, and we know Kyrie to be a good person,” Brogdon said. “He came back, he apologized, and whatever happens is gonna happen at this point…Kyrie’s been a part of the family, he’s still part of the family, and we’ll just have to see how things play out day-by-day.”
Williams, on the other hand, brought up how the players association will approach it from both sides.
“For us, it’s just a matter of education and understanding and trying to protect our players as well. It’s a matter of dealing with both sides,” Williams said. “You have to do your best to understand the information that’s currently available, and you don’t condone any type of hate speech and antisemitism or anything of that matter.”
Irving has been a vice president of the NBPA since 2020.
LeBron James’ Thoughts on Irving
“I told you guys that I don’t believe in sharing hurtful information. And I’ll continue to be that way, but Kyrie apologized, and he should be able to play. That’s what I think. It’s that simple. Help him learn- but he should be playing. What he’s asked to do to get back on the floor, I think is excessive IMO. He’s not the person that’s being portrayed of him. Anyways back to my rehab session,” James said.
Irving and James played together on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014 to 2017.