Suspended Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is getting support from another unvaccinated athlete amid accusations of anti-Semitism.
‘Won’t miss this part of professional sports,’ tweeted former Buffalo Bills receiver Cole Beasley in response to news of Irving’s minimum five-game ban from the Nets.
The Brooklyn star is being punished by the team for a tweet last week linking to a film described as ‘anti-Semitic’ and refusing to show remorse or accept accountability.
”’Be you” they say,’ Beasley added in Thursday’s tweet. ‘Yea alright…’
Beasley, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season at 33 before deciding to retire, is a rare voice of support for the Nets star these days – although not it’s not a complete surprise.
Like Irving in the NBA, Beasley fought the NFL over COVID-19 policies. Both athletes refused to be vaccinated, and as a result, were hit with fines and loss of game checks as they ran afoul of rules in New York State and their respective leagues. As a result, Irving and Beasley both became leading figures among vaccine sceptics and critics of various mandates, most of which have been lifted.
Irving has once again ignited controversy, only this time, it’s over a tweet linking to the Amazon page for the 2018 film ‘Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.’ The movie is based on a 2015 book by the same name, which Rolling Stone described as ‘venomously anti-Semitic.’ Specifically, it quotes Hitler to convince the audience about the existence of a Jewish plan for world domination.
‘People should be able to say what they want,’ Beasley wrote in another tweet on Thursday. ‘You don’t have to listen to them and everything they say isn’t the truth. Stop being so damn sensitive.’
Suspended Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is getting support from another unvaccinated athlete amid accusations of anti-Semitism. ‘Won’t miss this part of professional sports,’ tweeted former Buffalo Bills receiver Cole Beasley in response to news of Irving’s minimum five-game ban from the Nets
Beasley, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season at 33 before deciding to retire, is a rare voice of support for the Nets star these days
Beasley, who was subject to fines for refusing to following NFL COVID-19 protocol last season, argued Thursday that ‘people should be able to say what they want’
Since posting the Amazon link to the film on Twitter, Irving has quarreled with media, telling reporters ‘I’m not going to stand down on anything that I believe in.’ He then appeared to backtrack on Sunday by deleting the post without an explanation.
But after days of competing statements from Irving, the Nets, team owner Joe Tsai, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the club suspended the All-Star for a minimum of five games. He will not be reinstated until he ‘satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct,’ according to a club statement.
Furthermore, the Anti-Defamation league rejected a proposed $500,000 donation from Irving, saying he ‘feels no accountability for his actions.’
Irving finally apologized late Thursday night for linking to the film on Twitter. In an Instagram statement, Irving said: ‘To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize.
‘I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the Documentary.
‘I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all. I am no different than any other human being. I am a seeker of truth and knowledge, and I know who I Am.’
The Nets released an angry and frustrated statement earlier on Thursday night, saying the decision to suspend Irving stemmed from his ongoing lack of apology, the latest of refusal coming after a disastrous media appearance on Thursday.
‘We have decided that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct and the suspension period served is no less than five games,’ the Nets statement read in part.
‘We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no anti-Semitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film. This was not the first time he had the opportunity – but failed – to clarify.
‘Such failure to disavow antisemitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, is against the values of our organization, and constitutes conduct detrimental to the team. Accordingly, we are of the view that he is currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.’
Irving and Beasley are natural allies, philosophically.
Beasley, who has excelled out of the slot for both the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills over his 10-year career, was fined over $100,000 for violations of the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols in his final season. One of the fines, for $14,600, was assessed in August of last year, when NFL officials were at the Bills’ training facility and spotted the unvaccinated Beasley not wearing a mask.
Like Irving, Beasley has been outspoken in his views on the COVID-19 vaccination mandates. He tested positive for the virus in December and was forced to be away from the Bills for 10 days, per league protocols.
In September of 2021, Beasley and Bills teammate Reid Ferguson both offered to buy tickets for fans to away games since Buffalo was requiring proof of the injection for all spectators at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.
The players told unvaccinated fans via social media that if they bought tickets to a road game, the players would pick up the tab.
While he has personally refused to get vaccinated, Beasley said in August of 2021 that he’s not for or against the injection, but rather he considers himself ‘pro choice’ and is opposed to any mandates.
Since then, New York State and the NFL have suspended most of the protocols to which Beasley and Irving objected.
The NFL suspended all aspects of its COVID-19 protocols in March as infection rates began to dwindle.
In an agreement with the players’ association, the league sent a memo to the 32 teams in which it mentioned ‘encouraging trends regarding the prevalence and severity of COVID-19, the evolving guidance from the CDC, changes to state law and the counsel of our respective experts’ as reasons for the move.
Should the NFL find reasons to reimpose any aspects of the protocols, it will do so in conjunction with the NFL Players Association.
Teams are required to remain in compliance with state and local laws and may continue ‘reasonable measures to protect their staff and players,’ said the memo.
Similarly, Irving made headlines last season for his refusal to adhere to local workplace vaccine mandates, instead opting to miss long stretches of the 2021-22 campaign in Brooklyn.
The unvaccinated Irving then made waves in September by posting a 20-year-old clip of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones describing a ‘new world order’ that would unleash viruses to gain control of the public.
In the video Jones said: ‘Yes there have been corrupt empires. Yes they manipulate. Yes there are secret societies. Yes there have been oligarchies throughout history.
‘And yes, today in 2002, there is a tyrannical organization calling itself the New World Order…by releasing diseases and viruses and plagues upon us, we then basically get shoved into their system.’
The video was titled: ‘Never Forget – Alex Jones Tried To Warn Us.’
‘Alex Jones is one of the most despicable human beings alive and to associate with him means you share his stench,’ Abdul-Jabbar wrote about the political media figure at the center of several controversies.
He did address Jones when speaking to reporters about his recent tweet on Saturday, condemning the conspiracy theorist for spreading misinformation about school shootings, while praising his some other work.
‘My post was a post from Alex Jones that he did in the early ’90s or late ’90s about secret societies in America of occults, and it’s true,’ Irving said.
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