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#pounditThursday, May 13, 2021

Kyrie Irving uses disturbingly racist language in arguing for NBA logo change

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving will say almost anything for attention, so it’s no surprise that his latest act is to argue for the NBA to change the logo.

The notion of discussing whether the logo should be changed is fine. The humble Jerry West has even said he wants the logo to be changed. But what is not acceptable is the racist language and racist argument Irving uses for making such a change.

In his Instagram post saying the NBA should change the logo to Kobe Bryant, Irving said in all caps “BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE.”

That is dangerously racist language and racist reasoning. The logo should be changed because black kings built the league, he says.

Let’s disregard that Irving has a very limited knowledge of the history of the league. Irving obviously thinks the league’s history began when Irving was old enough to start following the NBA. Let’s also disregard that Irving has little recognition of all the commissioners, investors, and executives who played roles in building the NBA. Let’s also disregard that Irving, like so many of his contemporaries, doesn’t realize that it’s the fans who have built the league and made it possible for players to earn the fame and salaries they receive.

Using race as a motivating factor in this reasoning is terrible. A white athlete saying anything remotely close to this might see their career end. It should be no more acceptable for Irving to use this language or argument.

Being racist towards any group of people is unacceptable. It is and has always been unacceptable for anyone to be racist towards black people. But it’s also unacceptable to be racist while seeking retribution for a group of people you feel are/were oppressed. That just continues the cycle of racism and divide, and makes you no better than the original racists.

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