Kyrie Irving is done serving his suspension related to sharing a movie with anti-Semitic themes. Prior to returning, he thanked his supporters.
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving is set to return on Sunday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after serving a suspension that was slated to be a minimum of five games, but as many as were needed for Irving to complete five specific steps designed to prove he was contrite and understanding of the pain he caused by sharing a movie.
The suspension ended up being eight games.
The highly controversial movie Irving shared contained anti-Semitic tropes and questions the idea that Jewish people are the true Children of God.
Kyrie Irving issues a thank you to those supportive of his “journey”
Early on Sunday morning, Kyrie went to Twitter to thank those who supported him through what he referred to as a “journey.”
Previously, Irving used his social media accounts to clarify that he meant no disrespect to any religious groups or people and then, later on, apologized for the pain he inflicted on Jewish people for sharing the movie.
These are the five steps Irving needed to complete to return from his suspension:
- Condemn and apologize for sharing the anti-Semitic movie he shared.
- Make $500,000 donation to anti-hate causes (he previously made a donation of this amount to the ADL which was turned away).
- Complete sensitivity training.
- Complete anti-hate training.
- Meet with Anti-Defamation League representatives and Jewish Brooklyn community leaders.
- Meet with Nets owner Joe Tsai to demonstrate understanding.
Irving’s return is no small story. An anonymous general manager told The Athletic when Irving was suspended it wasn’t out there to assume Irving’s time in the NBA might be altogether finished (subscription required).
The more optimistic viewers may be hopeful that Irving’s statement of gratitude is not indicative that the ‘journey’ Irving referred to is over. While reports are that Nets management is pleased that Irving has gone above and beyond to meet with Jewish community leaders, it has been mere days since Irving started this journey of education. To truly understand, there is likely much more for Kyrie to hear.
The Nets went 5-3 during Irving’s suspension.