Was a Sunday afternoon tweet from Kyrie Irving an apology? And if it was, was it meant to help satisfy one of the conditions the Nets had laid out as prerequisites for his return? Or was it a response to Joe Tsai’s comment that he has “a lot of work to do.” It is difficult to determine ... as so much about the current Irving controversy has been.
The tweet did not refer to the controversy which began October 26 when Irving publicized a 2018 video that many, including Joe Tsai, Adam Silver, the Anti-Defamation League and many many fans of the team, believe was “vile,” “hateful,” and “antisemitic.” Nor did it refer to Tsai’s comments to Brian Lewis during Saturday night’s win over the Clippers.
I was not put here on earth to participate in any religious/political wars or incite racial disharmony/prejudice within communities. We are all equal under the sun and I am here to participate in the building of an Equal world and follow the Word from the Most High/GOD/YAH.— Hélà (@KyrieIrving) November 13, 2022
There was no follow-up.
Irving has previously apologized for the original tweet, condemned the video, “From Hebrews to Negroes,” and taken responsibility for his actions. An apology and condemnation were both among the conditions the Nets laid out. His initial refusal to apologize, particularly at a testy press conference ultimately led to his suspension for a minimum of five games ... or until he fulfills the conditions. In addition to the apology and condemnation, the Nets want Irving to meet with Jewish leaders, undergo sensitivity and antisemitic training and contribute a half million dollars to combat hate.
Two days ago, Tsai revealed that he and his wife, Clara, had spent “quality time” with Irving and his family to seek a resolution of the issue, tweeting “the Nets and Kyrie, together with the NBA and NBPA, are working constructively toward a process of forgiveness, healing and education,” adding “it’s clear to me that Kyrie does not have any beliefs of hate towards Jewish people or any group.”
Then, Saturday night, Tsai told Lewis that “He still has work to do” before a return, adding, “He has to show people that he’s sorry. What’s important — and what people miss — is he only apologized after he was suspended.”
That did not bode well for a quick return and a number of pundits, including YES Network’s Frank Isola and ESPN’s Zach Lowe suggested that the Nets might want to get rid of him. That possibility got a little more credence Sunday evening when Shams Charania discussing the Nets recent crises, told Sirius XM Radio, “There is an uncertainty as to whether and when he’ll come back.”
Meanwhile, Ric Bucher of FOX Sports said the Nets are still considering a trade with the Lakers that could include Irving, Joe Harris, Anthony Davis, Pat Beverly and draft picks.
His teammates, particularly Kevin Durant and Nic Claxton, offered support to Irving.
“Yeah, his spirits are up, just trying to know navigate through everything,” said Claxton of Irving. “I have no idea (when he’s returning). I heard he’s not playing (vs. the Lakers), which is unfortunate. But you know, whenever he’s, whenever he gets back, we’ll get him back in the swing of things.”
- Nets’ Kyrie Irving tweets cryptic message as he remains suspended - Brian Lewis - New York Post