The Brooklyn Nets announced Thursday that they suspended guard Kyrie Irving for at least five games without pay for conduct detrimental to the team after his promotion of an antisemitic film on social media and his ensuing refusal to unequivocally say that he did not have antisemitic beliefs in numerous talks with reporters.
The Nets also stated that Irving must complete “a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct” before he could return.
Brooklyn did not make those measures publicly known, but Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports revealed them in a Saturday evening report:
“For Irving to return, he must meet with the media and issue a verbal apology that clearly states he’s sorry for sharing the film and understands the film is harmful and untrue.
“He must also share the apology on his social media accounts. Irving initially issued an apology on Instagram hours after his suspension.
“In addition, he must follow and complete sensitivity trainings determined by the team while also meeting with Jewish leaders in the Brooklyn community.
“And finally, if he meets the numerous requirements to the Nets’ satisfaction, he must meet with ownership and demonstrate this type of behavior will not occur again this season — the last of Irving’s four-year deal he signed with the Nets in 2019.”
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium noted one of the action items Irving has to complete is a “$500,000 donation to anti-hate causes”:
On Thursday night, Irving issued a statement on Instagram with an apology to the Jewish community, stating in part that he took “full accountability and responsibly for my actions.” He’s since deleted the offending tweet.
Nets general manager Sean Marks called the apology a “step” in the right direction Friday and further noted that the team never considered waiving Irving before levying the suspension.
Irving and the Nets also planned to donate $500,000 each to the Anti-Defamation League, but ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt publicly stated Thursday that the organization would not accept the guard’s donation, referencing the press conference that ultimately acted as the last straw before the suspension.
“We were optimistic but after watching the debacle of a press conference, it’s clear that Kyrie feels no accountability for his actions,” Greenblatt said on Twitter. “ADL cannot in good conscience accept his donation.”
The Nets’ first post-suspension game without Irving took place Friday, and Brooklyn won that one 128-86 at the Washington Wizards.
Its next four games are against the Charlotte Hornets (Saturday), the Dallas Mavericks (Monday), the New York Knicks (Wednesday) and Los Angeles Clippers (next Saturday). The next possible game Irving can play would be Sunday, Nov. 13, at the Los Angeles Lakers.