NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday he did not believe Nets goalkeeper Keri Irving was anti-Semitic after meeting him in person this week at the NBA headquarters in Manhattan. Irving faces backlash for Promote an anti-Semitic movie on Twitter Last month.
“We had a direct and frank conversation,” Silver, who is Jewish, said in an interview with the New York Times, adding, “He’s someone I’ve known for a decade, from whom I’ve never heard a word of anti-Semitism or frank hate directed at any group.”
“Whether it’s anti-Semitic or not, it has nothing to do with the harm caused by posting hateful content,” Silver added in a subsequent phone conversation.
Silver declined to reveal his meeting with Irving, citing an agreement with him to keep the details of their conversation private. Silver spoke to The Times after speaking at the Sports Business Journal’s Dealmakers Conference in Washington, his first public appearance amid the firestorm since Irving tweeted amazon link for antisemitic movie.
Silver suggested to conference attendees, in response to a question about Irving, that Amazon take some responsibility for hosting the film on its platform.
Anti-Semitism in America
Anti-Semitism is one of the longest-standing forms of bigotry, and its observers say it is now on the rise across the country.
“I think Amazon has to make decisions as well,” Silver said. He added, “It wasn’t my first instinct that something, to me, that was downright vile and full of hate speech would be contained in Amazon Prime.”
Silver told the audience that the social media post had caused “serious harm” to Irving and “potential” to the team and league. He added that he had “no doubt” that Irving was not an anti-Semite.
On October 27 on Twitter, Irving linked to an online Amazon rental and purchase page for the 2018 movie “Hebrew to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which is rife with antisemitism and is based on the book of the same name. Irving removed the position after three days. He was criticized by the Anti-Defamation League, fellow NBA playersAnd the fanslocal politicians Nets owner Joe Tsai and silver, among others. For a week after his letter, Irving did not apologize and would not say he had no anti-Semitic beliefs, which prompted the Nets to Suspend indefinitelyFor at least five games. Irving may be eligible to return on Sunday in the Nets’ road game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The NBA and the Nets faced criticism because Irving was not suspended by the team until November 3, a week after his original position.
“I feel we’ve come to the right conclusion here with regards to his suspension,” Silver said. “And later, perhaps we could get there faster. I accept that criticism. But I felt it was important to understand the context in which it was deployed to understand what proper discipline was, not in any way to justify it but to understand what proper discipline is.”
For the league office, Silver said, “the film asked us to do some work and research to understand” what Irving posted. Silver also said he watched the movie, and it’s about three and a half hours long.
“Once we had that investigation, it was clear to me that this was really hate speech, and we responded with the Brooklyn Nets,” Silver said.
Silver said the net would decide when Irving could return to the squad “in consultation with the league”. You have shared nets Some conditions for Irving’s return, including that he should meet with local Jewish leaders and networks. While Irving publicly apologized at Instagram share After he has been suspended, it is not clear if he will meet the team’s terms. Irving and the Nets announced in a statement with the Anti-Defamation League last week that they would each Donate $500,000 to anti-hate causes.
Asked if he was comfortable with the Nets’ terms, Silver said, “That is being discussed at this time.”
He added, “I think my understanding of where things stand is that the networks are looking to turn this into a partnership between them and Kerry in terms of the appropriate treatment. Because the most important here is that the remorse be genuine and sincere. And I think that will best come through the terms that are agreed. upon it and not imposed upon it.”
But some people said the nets’ terms are too onerous. Lakers striker LeBron James, who played for Irving in Cleveland, said: Share on Twitter Thursday that Irving should return to the field.
“I told you guys I don’t believe in sharing harmful information,” James said in his message, referring to his comment to reporters last week that Irving’s post was malicious. “And I will stay that way, but Kerry has apologized and he should be able to play.”
He continued: “That’s what I think. Quite simply. Help him learn – but he has to play. I think what he was asked to do to get back on the ground is exaggerated.”
James said that was just his opinion and added of Irving, “He’s not the person he’s being portrayed as.”
Silver said “no” when asked if he had a response to James’ position and began discussing Irving’s right under the league’s collective bargaining agreement to be represented by the NBA Players Association, where Irving serves as vice president.
“This is something we have to solve,” Silver said. “But at this point, we are working collaboratively with Kerry and his representatives to try to come up with a plan for remedial action.”
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