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#pounditThursday, June 1, 2023

Kyrie Irving suspended by Nets at least 5 games without pay

Kyrie Irving in warmups

Jan 15, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) stands for the anthem before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets have taken big action against Kyrie Irving.

The Nets on Thursday announced that they have suspended Irving for five games without pay. Their detailed statement explains exactly why they did not suspend Irving until now.

“Over the last several days, we have made repeated attempts to work with Kyrie Irving to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, which began with him publicizing a film containing deeply disturbing antisemitic hate. We believed that taking the path of education in this challenging situation would be the right one and thought that we had made progress with our joint commitment to eradicating hate and intolerance,” the team said.

“We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film. This was not the first time he had the opportunity – but failed – to clarify.

“Such failure to disavow antisemitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, is against the values of our organization, and constititutes conduct detrimental to the team. Accordingly, we are of the view that he is currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets. We have decided that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct and the suspension period served is no less than five games.”

The truth is Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai never wanted to have Irving back this season. If it weren’t for a player option in his contract, Irving wouldn’t have been back with the team.

Now he has given them reason to send him away from the team for a bit of time, and it’s due to his promotion of a movie that includes antisemitism, and his subsequent response.

What’s interesting is that based on the language of the team’s statement, the suspension could last longer than five games. Tsai would probably love to keep Irving away from the team for as long as possible. On top of his behavior off the court, Irving also reportedly ignored his coach on the court.

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