While Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving remains suspended from the team for posting links to an antisemitic movie, Amazon continues to sell the film on their platform.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has been one to rip Irving in the past, but he has defended him in this instance with the Nets, who he said are trying to “emasculate” their star player. He added that he thought people are trying to “keep their knee on Kyrie’s neck” as the suspension continued.
But while this is all happening to Irving, Smith believes that Bezos needs to be held responsible as well.
“Jeff Bezos, you’re supposed to be a better man than that,” Smith said on “First Take.” “Get rid of that. Get that off your platform, please, since all of this noise is being made. Why, because he’s worth billions? And he owns Amazon, so we’re not gonna say anything about him, but we’re gonna rake Kyrie Irving through the coals?
“You’re just providing validation to the level of frustration Black people in America feel time and time again. You’re holding us to different standards. It’s never fair to us. And this is the latest example, and it’s sickening.”
The five-game minimum suspension for Irving is in the past, as he would’ve been set to play against the Los Angeles Lakers. However, he wasn’t suited up 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 he came away saying that he didn’t believe Irving was antisemitic.
“He’s someone I’ve known for a decade, and I’ve never heard an antisemitic word from him or, frankly, hate directed at any group,” Silver told The New York Times.
“Whether or not he is antisemitic is not relevant to the damage caused by the posting of hateful content.”
Irving also met with Nets owner Joe Tsai, who came away with the same feeling as Silver: Irving doesn’t have “beliefs of hate towards Jewish people.”
Fellow NBA peers like LeBron James and Jaylen Brown, who have both played with Irving in his career, are of the belief that the controversial guard isn’t being treated properly. James said “he should be playing,” while Nike’s termination of Irving’s endorsement deal with them was hypocritical in the eyes of Brown.
Brooklyn hits the hardwood next in Sacramento on Tuesday night as they continue their west coast trip.
The Portland Trail Blazers are after that on Thursday night before returning home to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.