Charles Barkley says Kyrie Irving should have been suspended for antisemitic film comments
Calls for Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving to be punished by the NBA for posting an antisemitic film continue to pile up.
After Irving tweeted a link to a film, “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which contains racially-charged messaging, the NBA, Nets and basketball media have called for accountability.
Speaking on the Irving controversy on TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” Charles Barkley said he hopes the league suspends Irving for appearing to promote antisemitism.
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Barkley also referred to Irving as an “idiot” who cost Nets head coach Steve Nash his job.
“I think he should have been suspended. I think Adam [Silver] should have suspended him,” Barkley told the panel.
“First of all, Adam’s Jewish. You can’t take my $40 million dollars and insult my religion,” Barkley continued. “If you’re going to insult me, you have the right, but I have the right to say, ‘No, you’re not going to take my $40 million and insult my religion.’
“I think the NBA made a mistake. We have suspended people and fined people who have made homophobic slurs, and that was the right thing to do. I think if you insult the Black community, you should be suspended or fined heavily, depending. I saw they did the same thing to the kid in Minnesota this year [Anthony Edwards] when he made the gay slur. I think you should get suspended or fined.”
KYRIE IRVING DEFENDS RIGHT TO POST WHAT HE WANTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA, GETS INTO HEATED ARGUMENT WITH REPORTER
Nets team owner Joe Tsai released a statement condemning Irving for highlighting the film and said he was “disappointed” for the “hate” it conveyed. Kyrie deleted his tweet Monday.
“I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation,” Tsai tweeted. “I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity or religion.”
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Irving criticized the media for calling his platform “hateful” during a postgame interview Sunday.