Kyrie Irving has always been a controversial figure, not just in NBA circles, but all throughout the world during his time in the league. Irving always finds a way to ruffle feathers, but his latest incident, in which he promoted an antisemitic film on social media, has been the cause of major backlash from folks everywhere, and for good reason.
Cuban offers his opinion on Kyrie Irving
Many folks have been upset with Irving for some time, whether it be due to his basketball-related issues, such as when he tried to force his way to the Los Angeles Lakers this past offseason, or off-the-court issues, such as his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine. But all of Irving’s other strange actions come nowhere close to being as detrimental as his promotion of this film and his subsequent refusal to say he wasn’t antisemitic.
Irving’s actions eventually led his own team in the Brooklyn Nets to suspend him, and it felt like he should have been suspended much sooner than he was. Many Jewish people (which was the religion in which the film Irving promoted attacked) have been outspoken in their critique of Irving’s actions, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was the latest to join in, although his viewpoint may come off a bit more understanding than others.
“It’s not acceptable, but at the same, if there was just some dude on the street corner saying what Kyrie said, or Kanye (West) said, you’d just assume they’re crazy and keep on walking. But when they are a celebrity, you can’t do that. You have a platform, so people pay attention. I don’t think Kyrie has got a bad heart, but I think he’s definitely not educated about the impact it has, and that’s part of the process.” - Mark Cuban, RealLyfe Street Starz
Cuban offers an insightful take on Kyrie Irving
Being Jewish himself, Cuban knows what it’s like to be the subject of antisemitism. Cuban acknowledges that the problem with Irving saying these things is that he has a platform since he’s a star basketball player, which means that people will listen to him. That’s why his promotion of these antisemitic ideas is so dangerous.
While many have called for Irving’s head, Cuban offers a more level-headed approach by saying that while he doesn’t believe Irving is a bad guy, he isn’t educated on all the subjects he chooses to discuss, which is dangerous. Irving could have continued to promote or say harmful or dangerous things to different groups of people had the NBA and the Nets organization not stepped in.
The hope is that Irving’s suspension will give him the time to reflect and learn from his actions, but with Irving being the wild card that he is, you never really know what you will get from him. Hopefully, he will be able to move forward without any more incidents like this throughout the rest of the season but based on what we have seen from Irving over the past few years, that may be wishful thinking.