Jaylen Brown Calls Out Nets Owner Joe Tsai Over Team's Handling of Kyrie Irving Suspension

Image via Getty
Image via Getty

As a vice president of the NBA’s players union, Jaylen Brown isn’t happy with how Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai handled the recent controversy surrounding All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving.

Earlier this month, Kyrie sparked backlash after posting a link on social media for the documentary Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, a 2018 film that focuses on antisemitic tropes, including claims that “many famous high-ranking Jews have admitted to worship[ing] Satan or Lucifer.”

Tsai later condemned Irving’s actions, before suspending him for at least five games. The Nets said the point guard will need to meet a “series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct” before he can return to the team.

While speaking with reporters after the Celtics’ win over the Thunder on Monday night, Brown called out Tsia.

“Tsai’s response was alarming to me.” Brown said. “He didn’t say that the organization was working together to get Kyrie back on the floor. He said that Kyrie had more work to do. And as vice president of the players union, it’s part of my job to protect our players legally. And to see Phil Knight first come out and condemn Kyrie, and also see Joe Tsai say he has more work to do, I think it’s time for a larger conversation.”

Brown also said he doesn’t think Kyrie “meant any harm” by posting the link to the antisemitic film.

“Obviously it came off as insensitive to a lot of people,” Brown said. “But Adam Silver came out with a statement saying he doesn’t believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic. Joe Tsai came out and said in a statement that they don’t believe he is antisemitic. Those were their words. He [Kyrie] already apologized.”

Brown added, “Our society has more work to do, including Joe Tsai. It’s 2022, it takes ten minutes of time to see who these business owners, corporations, etc, who they’re associated with, who they’re doing business with, who they’re affiliated with. I think it’s time for a larger conversation.”