The Brooklyn Nets traded Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks, a franchise with a Jewish owner who had previously spoken out against the star guard’s anti-Semitism incident.
The popular TV personality “Shark Tank” and one of the NBA’s most outspoken franchise owners, Mark Cuban, chose not to comment on the deal that dominated the league on Sunday. Cuban, though, said that Irving was “uninformed about the impact” of his online platform in the fall after Irving used his Twitter account to promote an anti-Semitic movie and at first refused to retract the remark. Irving is an eight-time All-Star.
Regarding the months-long antisemitism scandal involving the rapper Kanye West, Cuban said in an interview with the RealLyfe Productions YouTube channel: “If there were just some dude on the street corner saying what Kyrie said, or what Kanye said, you’d assume they’re crazy and keep on walking, right? However, you can’t do that with celebrities since you have a platform.
Cuban revealed in the interview that he experienced antisemitism as a child. His paternal grandparents, who immigrated from Russia, had their last name altered from Chabenisky at Ellis Island. In the wake of the incident, he declared that, in his opinion, Irving did not have a “bad heart.”
I don’t believe he is one of those men who would march in Charlottesville while yelling, “Jews will not replace us. However, in the RealLyfe interview, Cuban remarked, “I think he still has a lot to learn.
In late October, Irving’s support of a Black Hebrew Israelite movie that falsely claimed that Jews controlled the slave trade and how he initially defended the action shocked people outside of the sports community.
Most of the league’s Jewish club owners remained silent on the backlash, and Adam Silver, the league’s Jewish commissioner, did not meet with Irving for approximately two weeks following his tweet, despite numerous celebrities and sports pundits calling for the Nets to punish Irving.
In the fall, Cuban was even harsher in his criticism of West for his repeated antisemitic remarks, describing the rapper’s views as “abhorrent” and referencing his mental health issues.
Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is Jewish. And he just traded for Kyrie Irving.
— Design MLB (@DesignMLB) February 5, 2023