Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija is believed to be the NBA’s lone Jewish player and on Friday night he broke his silence on the Kyrie Irving saga.
Irving was suspended for at least five games and reportedly must meet a number of prerequisites to return to the floor as he initially failed to adequately apologize for sharing a movie on his social media account that promotes antisemitic disinformation.
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Brooklyn suspended Irving before their game against the Wizards. Avdija, who is from Israel, spoke out about the situation.
“[Irving] is a role model, he’s a great player. I think he [made] a mistake. But you need to understand that he gives [an] example to people. People look up to him,” he said, via the New York Post.
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“You can think whatever you want, you can do whatever you want. I don’t think it’s right to go out in public and publish it, and let little kids that follow you see it, and the generation to come after to think like that. Because it’s not true. And I don’t think it’s fair. Hopefully, he’s sorry for what he said.
“I think there needs to be consequences for the actions that a player [does]. I don’t know the punishment that the league gives, but I think that needs to be known that there’s no room for words like that.”
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Irving apologized after he was formally suspended. His relationship with Nike was also paused.