It really should not be this hard to acknowledge that antisemitism is very bad.
LeBron James looked to have gotten to that point recently when he commented on Kyrie Irving’s actions and quotes over the weekend. LeBron noted that the suspended Brooklyn Nets star’s words hurt people and he himself does not condone hate in any way.
It may not have been as strong as some wanted, but it was hardly a weak statement and, given that he was the first player to really actively speak out against Kyrie, it was a welcome one.
If it had just stopped there, that would have been fine. On Thursday, though, LeBron tweeted out more of his thoughts on the matter, arguing that the requirements Kyrie must meet to get back on the court were “excessive.”
the floor I think is excessive IMO. He’s not the person that’s being portrayed of him. Anyways back to my rehab session.— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 10, 2022
1. Issue an apology for posting a link to the movie on Oct. 27, condemn the harmful and false content and make clear that he does not have anti-Jewish beliefs.
2. Complete the anti-hate causes that Irving, the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League agreed upon in their joint release on Nov. 2 — including a $500,000 donation toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in communities.
3. Complete sensitivity training created by the Nets.
4. Complete antisemitic/anti-hate training designed by the Nets.
5. Meet with representatives from the Anti-Defamation League, as well as Jewish community leaders in Brooklyn.
6. After completing 1 to 5, meet with owner Joe Tsai and lead franchise officials and demonstrate the lessons learned and that the gravity of the harm caused in the situation is understood, and provide assurances that this type of behavior will not be repeated.
Not a single one of those requirements is excessive given the repeated actions from Kyrie throughout this mess. It can’t even be written away as a one-off moment, as Kyrie stood in front of the media multiple times and pushed a dangerous, harmful and false narrative. Only when he started losing sponsorships and suspensions started coming his way did Kyrie finally issue an apology that even then felt little more than a heavy-handed PR response.
It’s hard to understate how reckless it is for Kyrie to peddle false narratives given the large platform he has both across social media and as an NBA player. That he did it multiple times without showing any sort of remorse but instead stubbornness made it clear what his beliefs were.
Therefore, he should not be quickly allowed back onto the NBA floor and he does need to learn and realize the damage he caused to so many people. So no, LeBron, not one bit of this is excessive. The only thing that was excessive in this situation was Kyrie Irving’s repeated actions.