NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar told CNN on Monday that Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving is being “unwittingly used to promote hatred and antisemitism.”
Speaking about the uproar over Irving’s tweeting of a link to an antisemitic film and his subsequent statements, Abdul-Jabbar told “CNN Tonight with Jake Tapper” that Irving was spreading antisemitism, even if he never intended to.
“Well, I think Kyrie has to understand what’s happening. He’s being unwittingly used to promote hatred and antisemitism,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “And even though he doesn’t see himself as being antisemitic, by joining forces and making posts like that, he can be used, and I think that’s what’s happened.”
Irving issued an apology late last week after he was suspended for at least five games by the Nets over his sharing antisemitic content on social media.
On Tuesday, Kyrie and NBA commissioner Adam Silver met and had what was described as “a productive and understanding visit”, sources with direct knowledge of the talks told The Athletic.
The Nets have outlined six action items he must complete in order to return to the team, according to The Athletic. These include meeting with Jewish community leaders in Brooklyn and completing sensitivity training created by the team, the website reported.
Silver’s meeting with Irving came days after the NBA commissioner, who is Jewish himself, delivered a strong statement in which he mentioned he planned to meet with the seven-time All-Star.
“I think the lack of awareness of the harm that they’re doing, both to the black community and to other communities, the LGBT community, Latinx community, all of these marginalized communities are all really in one lump. If we don’t try to protect everyone, we won’t protect anyone,” Abdul-Jabbar continued. “We have to have that attitude about it. And make sure that all marginalized groups receive the same protection as the groups that are used to giving that protection and feeling safe.”