Kyrie Irving will have a long list of requirements to meet before he can return to the court, per Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo! Sports and Shams Charania of The Athletic. The requirements include a $500,000 monetary contribution to combat hate, antisemitic and sensitivity training as well as meetings with both Jewish leaders and Joe Tsai, the two report.
Irving has been suspended indefinitely but for at least five games for his publicizing an antisemitic video 10 days ago. Here’s the list, as tweeted by Shams.
Sources: Nets have delivered Kyrie Irving six items he must complete to return to team:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 6, 2022
- Apologize/condemn movie
- $500K donation to anti-hate causes
- Sensitivity training
- Antisemitic training
- Meet with ADL, Jewish leaders
- Meet with Joe Tsai to demonstrate understanding
Goodwill, who broke the news, had additional details about the apology and condemnation of the video:
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.
The requirements were apparently set by the Nets, not the league, per Goodwill:
When asked for comment, the league told Yahoo Sports it was unaware of the depth of what Irving was asked to fulfill by the team, and the National Basketball Players Association said it could not comment on the matter.
In addition, of course, Commissioner Adam Silver said he wants to meet with Irving on the controversy.
Shams added that the final condition involves not just a meeting with Tsai but with “lead franchise officials” where he will also need to “demonstrate the lessons learned and that the gravity of the harm caused in the situation is understood, and provide assurances that this type of behavior will not be repeated.”
The list is likely to be time-consuming for Irving to complete, assuming he agrees to do so. Neither Goodwill nor Shams Charania indicated just how long the process would take.
Whether the players union will challenge the conditions for a return is also unknown. The NBPA, which released a statement condemning hate speech without mentioning Irving, is expected to meet with the union soon, according to Grant Williams who like Irving is an NBPA vice-president.
However, C.J. McCollum of the Pelicans, president of the NBPA, offered his thoughts Saturday night and like LeBron James. McCollum described Irving’s remarks as harmful to “a lot of people” but noted as well that Irving did not say anything antisemitic.
“He reposted something that I’m under the impression that he didn’t watch, that he wasn’t truly aware of what he posted,” McCollum told Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. (Irving told Brian Lewis at last Saturday’s press conference that he did view the entire video.)
“I think that was the situation. I don’t think he came out and said anything antisemitic.” McCollum added, “You have to be careful about what you post. You have to know exactly what it is, and you have to do your research and educate yourself on all religions, all backgrounds, all races so that you’re comfortable speaking to that. I think it is an unfortunate situation that a lot of people were affected by, a lot of people were harmed by.”
In addition to James and McCollum, the NBA’s only Jewish player, Deni Avdija, offered his thoughts.
“I think there need to be consequences for actions that players do,” said Avdija, who was born in Israel to a Jewish mother and Muslim father. “I think it needs to be known that there’s no room for words like that.”
Meanwhile as could have been expected, Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update took a shot at Irving...
SNL having some fun with the Kyrie Irving drama pic.twitter.com/TxUdSdbBJa— ’ (@_Talkin_NBA) November 6, 2022
One thing not required by the Nets or the NBA: any contact between Irving and fans. A group of Nets fans sitting courtside at Barclays Center Monday wore “Fight Anti-Semitism” t-shirts and Bruce Reznick, aka Mr. Whammy, told the Post this week that he had sent a letter to Irving via the Nets. He would not reveal its contents.
“Hopefully when he reads my letter, he should understand how he should act,” Reznick, himself Jewish, said. “I think it’s very important that he understand his position — and change.”
Reznick said he has no personal relationship with Irving.
- Nets inform Kyrie Irving of 6 action items to complete to return from suspension: Sources - Shams Charania - The Athletic
- Sources: Nets want Kyrie Irving to verbally apologize, complete sensitivity training, meet with local Jewish leaders before he’s allowed to return - Vincent Goodwill - Yahoo! Sports
- Kyrie Irving must complete six steps before he can rejoin Nets - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- NBA agent Daniel Hazan, an orthodox Jew, navigates antisemitism with fears and hope - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets’ Kyrie Irving given stipulations he must complete before returning to team - Robert Sanchez - SNY
- Kyrie Irving fan wearing ‘fight antisemitism’ shirt hopes Net star’s apology is ‘beginning of a positive path forward’ - Ian Begley - SNY