NBA Commissioner Silver defends Irving

Silver told The New York Times on Thursday that he’s never known Irving to use antisemitic or hate speech, but added, “Whether or not he is antisemitic is not relevant to the damage caused by the posting of hateful content.”



November 11, 2022 - 11:01 AM

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets reacts to an official's call during a preseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum on Oct. 12, 2022, in Milwaukee. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images/TNS)

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has “no doubt” that suspended Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving is not antisemitic, he said at a conference on Thursday, while LeBron James took to Twitter to defend his former teammate whose status with the Nets remains a mystery.

Those developments followed Nike co-founder Phil Knight telling CNBC, in an interview that aired earlier Thursday, that the relationship between the shoe giant and Irving is likely severed for good.

Silver met with Irving earlier this week, and he told attendees at the Sports Business Journal Dealmakers Conference in Washington that he came away from that conversation believing the situation is “incredibly unfortunate.”

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