NBA

NBPA issues statement condemning anti-Semitism

NBPA issues statement condemning anti-Semitism
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The National Basketball Players Association issued a statement Tuesday condemning anti-Semitism.

« Anti-Semitism has no place in our society, » the players union said. « The NBPA is focused on creating an environment where everyone is accepted. We are committed to helping players fully understand that certain words can lead to hateful ideologies being spread. We will continue to work on identifying and combating all hate speech wherever it arises. »

Though not mentioned by name, the statement comes after Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving tweeted about a 2018 movie based on a book that features antisemitic tropes.

The Thursday tweet was condemned by Nets owner Joe Tsai in a tweet Friday and the NBA issued a statement Saturday night decrying hate speech. Irving tweeted Saturday that he is not anti-Semitic, but in addressing the media after Saturday night’s game stood by his tweet.

« I’m not here to argue over a person or a culture or a religion and what they believe, » Irving said Saturday night. « Nah, this is what’s here. It’s on a public platform. Did I do anything illegal? Did I hurt anybody? Did I harm anybody? Am I going out and saying that I hate one specific group of people? So out of all of the judgment that people got for me posting, without talking to me, and then I respect what Joe [Tsai] said, but there has a lot to do with not ego or pride of how proud I am to be [of] African heritage, but also to be living as a free Black man here in America, knowing the historical complexities for me to get here.

« So I’m not going to stand down on anything that I believe in. I’m only going to get stronger because I’m not alone. I have a whole army around me. »

Irving, who is one of the NBPA’s vice presidents, deleted the initial tweet Sunday. The Nets did not make Irving available to speak to the media after Monday night’s game.

Information from ESPN’s Nick Friedell was used in this report.

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