Last week, Kyrie Irving posted a link on social media to a movie containing an array of antisemitic tropes. Despite repeated opportunities in media sessions to condemn antisemitism and the beliefs propagated by that film, Irving failed to do so. Thursday evening, he was suspended by the Brooklyn Nets for at least five games without pay, due to his refusal to disavow antisemitism, and following news of the suspension, Irving took to Instagram and apologized for his behavior.
This is not the first time Irving’s been involved in an off-court controversy during his Brooklyn Nets tenure. Last season, he refused to comply with New York City’s now-outdated vaccine mandate, which sidelined him for the majority of the year. Irving’s latest actions, however, seem to be the breaking point for Nets owner Joe Tsai. According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Tsai is “completely done” with the All-Star guard.
“From what I’ve been told, Joe Tsai is completely done with him,” Smith said on Friday’s installment of First Take at the 5-minute mark of the above video. “He’s dealing with him because he’s under contract and he has to, but he’s completely done with Kyrie Irving.”
Irving and the Nets did not agree to a contract extension this summer, so Irving opted into his $36.5 million player option. He will be a free agent at the end of this season.