Earlier this week, I wrote about the latest Kyrie Irving drama around the promotion of a documentary filled with antisemitic and anti-black rhetoric and in that writing mentioned the lack of active NBA players that have spoken out about Irving’s remarks.
Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal both spoke about the NBA’s response and the need for him to be suspended. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar penned an op-ed on his Substack about Irving. At that time, Irving hadn’t been suspended or talked with the media. Then he did speak with the media, and missing from his remarks again were an apology, and following that is when the Brooklyn Nets called him “currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets” in their statement announcing his suspension for no less than five games.
LeBron James on Kyrie Irving Situation
On Friday, LeBron James responded to the media asking why he thinks that we haven’t heard much from other NBA players on the Kyrie Irving comments.
“I can tell you this. It’s simple. Me personally, I don’t condone any hate to any kind,” he said. “To any race. To Jewish communities, to Black communities, to Asian communities. You guys know where I stand. And that’s part of the reason why I didn’t air The Shop episode, why we kicked that out of the archives. Because it was hate conversation going on there,” James explained. “And I don’t represent that. There’s no place in this world for it. Nobody can benefit from that, and I believe what Kyrie did caused some harm to a lot of people,” James said.
James did give Irving credit for his recent apology that came after the Nets suspended the point guard.
“And he has since, over the last – I think it was today, or yesterday – he apologized. But he caused some harm and I think it’s unfortunate. “But I don’t stand on the position to harm people when it comes to your voice or your platform or anything. So it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how tall you are, what position you’re in. If you are promoting or soliciting or saying harmful things to any community that harms people, then I don’t respect it. I don’t condone it.”
LeBron on How Kyrie Repairs the Situation
The Nets weren’t the only ones to suspend Irving. Nike announced on November 4, that they were suspending their relationship with Irving and also calling off the launch of the Kyrie 8. Fellow Nike athlete LeBron James was also asked about how he thinks Irving could repair his relationship with the Nets and Nike alike.
“I don’t know. Because at the end of the day, Kyrie is his own man. he stands up in front of the media and speaks. He is a man and [from] a great family. He’s a great… I love the kid. He’s not even a kid no more. He’s 30. He just said that the other day in his presser. i was like, that’s insane. I don’t know the direction, the steps that he takes, but he’s apologized for what he said and I hope that he understands that what he said was harmful to a lot of people. And we as humans, none of us are perfect, but I hope he understands what he did and the actions that he took are just harmful to a lot of people. I really didn’t get into it too much. But I understand that when you are hurting anybody, I understand that. That is just common sense,” James said.