What on (flat) Earth is going on with Kyrie Irving?

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On Saturday, Oct. 29, Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving sent the NBA world into an uproar following his promotion of a film containing antisemitic beliefs on his Twitter account. The film—Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America—is described by Rolling Stone as being “stuffed with antisemitic tropes.” This is just another chapter in the saga of Irving’s ludicrous beliefs and the shockwaves he’s caused.

Kyrie Andrew Irving was born in Melbourne, Australia on March 30, 1992. As a star player in high school, Irving committed to Duke University to play basketball. Duke is an Atlantic Coastal Conference school, well-known for its basketball team and recruiting, but it’s not just athletics that the school excels in. To get into Duke, students generally need a 3.8 grade point average or higher, according to thoughtco.com.

About four years ago, Irving asked a New York Times reporter if he was sure the earth was round. Obviously, Earth has been proven to be round many times over. The science of the earth is flat doesn’t make sense, and Irving has no reason to believe that this is true. Yet, this man who studied at one of the more prestigious schools in the country believes that our planet is two-dimensional. The worst part about the questioning here is that if this is the most insane thing Irving has ever said, it’s not by much.

Irving has also taken a clear stance on the COVID-19 vaccine, one that has been heavily challenged by the NBA world. Irving refuses to get vaccinated, no matter the circumstances. Last season, Irving was barred from basketball games in New York—due to a local mandate that says athletes must be vaccinated to participate in such events—because of these beliefs and stood by them anyway, even going so far as to call himself a “martyr” over the stance. While there are a couple of ways to defend these actions, the way Irving is handling the whole situation is unacceptable. 

While donating money may help in the fight against hate, it won’t stop it. Giving away money to me just seems like the easy way out.”

Back to Irving supporting antisemitism. On Wednesday, Nov. 2, Irving and the Brooklyn Nets each donated $500,000 to anti-hate organizations, which doesn’t even begin to solve his problems. While donating money may help in the fight against hate, it won’t stop it. Giving away money just seems like the easy way out in these situations. On Thursday, Nov. 3, Irving was asked a simple yes-or-no question about whether he was antisemitic or not. His response was unexpected, to say the least. Irving said, “I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from.” While I don’t think anyone really understands what he’s talking about here, this may have a connection to his post on Twitter from Sunday, Oct. 30. “My roots and ancestors have led me back to AFRAKA…I am proud to overstand all of the knowledge that was left behind for application.” It’s challenging to make sense of this, that much is clear, but I would love to know what’s going on inside that head of his and how he decides to do what he does.

There are times when Irving seems like a decent human being with his donations and support for African organizations. Lots of people would say the bad outweighs the good in this case with Irving’s scientific questioning, his outlandish vaccination stance, and his apparent antisemitism. The NBA needs to do something more about this man, but what they should do is still in question. Do they suspend him? Fine him? Kick him out of the league? While the last one seems severe, measures must be taken to control the hate that is being spread.