NBPA VP Jaylen Brown says union disagrees with terms of Kyrie Irving’s suspension


Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, a vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, said Monday the union disagrees with the list of terms Kyrie Irving needs to fulfill before being reinstated from his suspension by the Brooklyn Nets.

“There is an interesting distinction between what somebody says verbally and what somebody posts as a link on a platform with no description behind it,” Brown said. “Some people will argue there’s no difference and some people will argue there is a difference. There’s no language in our CBA. There’s no rules against it. This is uncharted territory for everybody, and everybody is trying to figure out the difference between the two.”

The Nets suspended Irving last week after he promoted an antisemitic film on his social media channels, then failed to properly apologize when given multiple attempts to do so. The suspension is for a minimum of five games but Irving must also meet six benchmarks before the Nets will consider reinstatement.

Those benchmarks are:

— Irving must apologize for posting a link to a documentary containing antisemitic material. He also must condemn the movie.

— Irving must make a $500,000 donation to anti-hate causes.


— Irving must receive sensitivity training.

— Irving must take training to educate himself on antisemitism.

— Irving must meet with the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish leaders.

— Irving must meet with Nets owner Joseph Tsai to demonstrate his understanding of the issues.

Speaking to The Boston Globe on Monday, Brown said the union is concerned that the suspension will set a precedent despite the fact that there are no guidelines about social media use in the collective bargaining agreement. Brown said that he hopes a meeting between Irving and NBA commissioner Adam Silver will be the first step in clarifying those guidelines.

“He made a mistake. He posted something,” Brown said. “There was no distinction. Maybe we can move forward, but the terms in which he has to fulfill to return, I think not just speaking for me, speaking as a vice president from a lot of our players, we didn’t agree with the terms that was required for him to come back and we’re waiting for this Tuesday meeting to happen to see what comes of it.”

Brown told The Globe that he expects the NBPA will appeal Irving’s suspension.

“I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic,” Brown said. “I don’t think people in our governing bodies think he’s antisemitic. He made a mistake. We understand from an outside perspective how important sensitivity is to not condone hate speech and not condone anything of that nature. It’s sensitivity to the dialect around that. We don’t want to stand up for somebody in order to not condemn hate speech, but I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic. And hopefully the NBA feels the same way.”

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