LOS ANGELES, United States — NBA superstar LeBron James weighed in on the antisemitism furor surrounding Kyrie Irving, saying the Nets star “caused some harm to a lot of people.”
Irving has been suspended at least five games by the Nets and apparel giant Nike said on Friday it had suspended its relationship with him after he used social media to publicize a documentary widely condemned as containing antisemitic views.
“It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how tall you are, what position you’re in. If you are promoting or soliciting or saying harmful things to any community that harms people, then I don’t respect it,” James said after the Lakers fell to the Utah Jazz on Friday night.
“I don’t condone it. I don’t respect it.”
James said Irving’s belated apology — which did not come until after the Nets suspended him a week after the post — did not undo the damage.
“I don’t stand on the position to harm people when it comes to your voice or your platform or anything,” James said.
James and Irving won an NBA title together in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers before Irving demanded a trade in 2017 and went to Boston.
While discussing Irving, James also addressed the episode of his talk show “The Shop” that was to feature rapper Kanye West, which never aired in October.
“We kicked that out of the archives. Because it was hate conversation going on there,” James said. “And I don’t represent that. There’s no place in this world for it.”
West, known formally as Ye, has made headlines in recent weeks for racist and anti-semitic statements that prompted numerous corporate partners — including sportswear brand Adidas — to drop him.