Prior to last season, the goalkeeper refused to be vaccinated against the Corona virus, played in only 29 of 82 games in the regular season, and missed a lot due to New York City. State requiring vaccination Among all the city’s private sector employees, he was ineligible to compete in the Barclays Center.
But many fans said his prowess as one of the league’s most talented keepers overshadowed his differences off the field: when he played his first home game in March after more than nine months, Crowd broke the record for turnout for the Nets matchMr. Irving received the loudest cheers when the starting line-up was announced.
But patience with his behavior faltered this week, following his comments and what many fans saw as a slow, tepid attempt to get them back. After facing backlash for posting the link to the 2018 documentary “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America”, Which adopts many antisemitic metaphors“I am aware of the negative impact of my position on the Jewish community and I take responsibility,” Mr. Irving said in a statement six days later.
But he did not apologize directly, which disappointed many fans. Feeling intensified the next day, as he was questioned by reporters for six minutes after the Nets practice and asked to respond with “yes” or “no” to whether he had any anti-Semitic beliefs. Mr. Irving said he respects all walks of life, adding, “I couldn’t be an anti-Semite if I knew where I came from.”
Jeffrey S. Goruk, a professor of Jewish history and former assistant basketball coach at Yeshiva University, said the incident was particularly upsetting because basketball has historically been more acceptable. For the Jews of other sports. He said Mr. Irving’s comments represented “a kind of invasion of what is considered a safe place for Jews in American culture”.
On social media, many Irving supporters have argued that the backlash against him and Other black celebrities Those who have made anti-Semitic comments recently are in and of themselves a racist. “There is this idea: why are they uniting against him?” said Ma’an Zik, a black Jewish organizer. “That, when there’s racism, no one talks that way.”
But Ms. Zick, 38, who focuses on racial equality within Brooklyn’s Orthodox communities, said it “goes back to education.” For example, many people do not recognize anti-Semitism as do signs of racism, she said.
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