NBA megastar Kyrie Irving has been suspended for five games without pay by the Brooklyn Nets after he failed to apologise for sharing a link to an antisemitic film on his Twitter account.
Irving originally shared the link to the video via his Twitter account, before removing the tweet and accepting responsibility.
The 30-year-old has been ridiculed throughout the sporting world, with fans and pundits alike criticising his actions. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he would be speaking to Irving face to face next week.
At a press conference on Thursday, Irving was asked on numerous occasions whether he wished to use the words “I apologise” – but failed to do so. Instead, he insinuated that he didn’t need to apologise as he didn’t produce the documentary he was promoting.
Irving was also asked if he harboured any antisemitic beliefs, but instead insisted he “couldn’t be antisemitic” because he knew where he had “come from”. Now, the Australia-born former first overall draft pick has been suspended without pay by the Nets, who said in a statement they were “dismayed” by his actions.
A statement read: “Over the last several days, we have made repeated attempts to work with Kyrie Irving to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, which began with him publicising a film containing deeply disturbing antisemitic hate. We believed that taking the path of education in this challenging situation would be the right one and thought that we had made progress with our joint commitment to eradicating hate and intolerance.