On October 27, Irving shared a link to a 2018 film known for its antisemitic tropes, leading to a wave of backlash from both Twitter users and fellow members and managers at the NBA. Less than a week later, Nike announced that it would be suspending its partnership with Irving.
"At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism," Nike said in November.
According to the NBA, Irving initially refused to "unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs," leading the organization to suspend the player without pay for at least five games. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also said Irving is "currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets" because the player didn't offer an apology for his actions.
Since then, Irving has clarified his position, saying he doesn't "stand for anything close to hate speech or antisemitism or anything that is going against the human race."
"I feel like we all should have an opportunity to speak for ourselves when things are assumed about us and I feel it was necessary for me to stand in this place and take accountability for my actions," Irving said in November, "because there was a way I should have handled all this and as I look back and reflect when I had the opportunity to offer my deep regrets to anyone that felt threatened or felt hurt by what I posted, that wasn't my intent at all."
There's no denying that antisemitism is on the rise online, and there's far from a single source for this toxic rhetoric.
Notorious rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has dominated the news recently with his statements in support of both Adolph Hitler and the Nazi movement as a whole. However, the recent takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk has also contributed to worsening moderation on the platform, leading to a massive surge in hate speech, harassment, and other offensive content.
Ye has also faced significant professional losses since coming out in support of antisemitism. After tweeting about his plans to go "death con 3 on Jewish people", Ye was dropped by both Gap