While Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving remains suspended from the team for posting links to an anti-Semitic film, Amazon continues to sell the film on its platform.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has been one to snap Irving in the past, but in this case defended him with the Nets, who said he’s trying to “emasculate” their star player. He added that he thought people were trying to “keep their knee on Kyrie’s neck” as the suspension continued.
But while all of this is happening to Irving, Smith believes Bezos should also be held accountable.
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“Jeff Bezos, you should be a better man than that,” Smith said on “First Take.” “Get rid of that. Take him off your platform, please, since all this noise is being made. Why, why is he worth billions? And he owns Amazon, so we won’t say anything about him, but are he going to rake Kyrie Irving through the coals?”
“You’re just providing validation to the level of frustration Black people in America feel over and over again. You’re setting different standards on us. It’s never right for us. And this is the latest example, and it’s disgusting.”
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The minimum five-game suspension for Irving is in the past, as he was scheduled to play against the Los Angeles Lakers. However, he wasn’t dressed on Sunday.
Brooklyn required Irving to complete a six-step program to be considered for reinstatement. He also had a conversation with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who is Jewish, and walked away saying he didn’t believe Irving was anti-Semitic.
“He’s someone I’ve known for a decade and I’ve never heard a word from him that is anti-Semitic or, frankly, hate directed at any group,” Silver told The New York Times.
“Whether or not it is anti-Semitic is irrelevant to the harm caused by posting hateful content.”
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Irving also met with Nets owner Joe Tsai, who departed with the same feeling Silver had: Irving has “no Jew-hating convictions.”
NBA colleagues like LeBron James and Jaylen Brown, who both played under Irving in his career, are convinced that the controversial guard is not being treated adequately. James said he “should play,” while Nike’s termination of Irving’s endorsement deal with them was hypocritical in Brown’s eyes.
Brooklyn touches the hardwood in Sacramento Tuesday night as they continue their West Coast journey.
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The Portland Trail Blazers follow it Thursday night before returning home to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.