On Oct. 27, Kyrie Irving posted the link to a film containing antisemitic material on social media. On Nov. 3, the Brooklyn Nets suspended him for at least five games, as the guard had refused to unequivocally apologize for the now deleted post in the days leading up.
Now the Nets have reportedly given Kyrie a checklist of things he has to do to return to the court, all of which go beyond Irving’s apology that he posted to Instagram soon after being suspended.
Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, the six tasks are as follows:
- Issue an apology for posting a link to the movie on Oct. 27, condemn the harmful and false content and make clear that he does not have anti-Jewish beliefs.
- Complete the anti-hate causes that Irving, the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League agreed upon in their joint release on Nov. 2 — including a $500,000 donation toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in communities.
- Complete sensitivity training created by the Nets.
- Complete antisemitic/anti-hate training designed by the Nets.
- Meet with representatives from the Anti-Defamation League, as well as Jewish community leaders in Brooklyn.
- After completing 1 to 5, meet with owner Joe Tsai and lead franchise officials and 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.
So there is Kyrie’s prove-to-us you’re not racist homework, just the latest absurd twist in one of the strangest all-time NBA stories.
Though the Nets are right to be upset by Kyrie’s behavior, and reserve the right to suspend him for any conduct they deem detrimental to the team, there is something oddly performative about all of this. Clearly Brooklyn is most concerned about the public knowing they are doing everything they can to reform Kyrie. But forcing someone to say and do what you want them to isn’t always the path someone changing their core beliefs, and it will be a surprise to no one if Irving continues to give the Nets headaches after (if) he atones for this particular contraversy.