ESPN Host Goes Ham On Brooklyn Nets, Claims Suspension For Anti-Semitism Is A ‘Knee On Kyrie’s Neck’
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 31: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during a break in the action during the first quarter of the game against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center on October 31, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

ESPN host Stephen A. Smith launched a tirade during Friday’s broadcast of “First Take,” agreeing with LeBron James and saying that a suspension of “at least five games” for Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving was “excessive.”

Smith took the assessment a bit further, however, saying that the suspension — which came about because Irving tweeted a clip from a film rife with anti-semitic tropes (“Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America”) — was akin to people “trying to put their knee and keep their knee on Kyrie’s neck.”

Irving initially refused to apologize, which led to the suspension, but offered an apology after he was suspended. “To all the Jewish families and communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize.”

And Smith argued that if NBA Commissioner Adam Silver — who is Jewish — could say that he didn’t believe Irving was anti-semitic, that should be the end of it.

“We got riots that took place in the streets a couple of years ago. And I told everyone back then; I said when George Floyd had that knee on his neck, what people didn’t get, outside of the black community, is that black folks were going off because we were saying from a figurative perspective, from a metaphorical perspective, we always feel like we got a knee on our neck,” Smith claimed. “And that’s where the frustration and the fulminant of vitriol and hostility and, dare I say; violence came shining through.”

Smith went on to draw a line from what happened to George Floyd — when he was killed in the custody of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin — to the way the team was treating Irving.

“So here we are again. Now, this doesn’t have anything to do with that in a literal perspective, but this is somebody or a bunch of people out there trying to put their knee and keep their knee on Kyrie’s neck. Kyrie does not deserve that,” Smith continued. “He made a mistake. He made a mistake; he had to apologize for it. He’s been embarrassed because of it. He’s cost himself money because of it. He’s been suspended because of it.”

Smith then argued that there were racial implications to Irving’s suspension as well, suggesting that if Irving was white, his suspension might have a definitive end point.


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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ESPN Host Goes Ham On Brooklyn Nets, Claims Suspension For Anti-Semitism Is A ‘Knee On Kyrie’s Neck’