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Great Debate: Is The NBA’s Handling Of Kyrie Irving Too Harsh?

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Kyrie Irving has officially been suspended for at least two more games and it could be longer if he does not check all the boxes the Brooklyn Nets presented him with.

After Irving did not publicly apologize for sharing a link to an antisemitic film on his Twitter account, the Nets told him to apologize, donate half a million dollars to fighting antisemitism, meet with Jewish leaders, undergo sensitivity training, and then meet with owner Joe Tsai to prove he understands he did wrong.

So far, the only item Irving has accomplished publicly is an apology. Meanwhile Irving’s suspension has caused much debate across social media with two schools of thought — his punishment fits the crime and he’s innocent and the NBA is doing too much.

On Tuesday Shannon Sharpe agreed with the latter and said the Nets are trying to rob Irving of his dignity.

Several folks on social media have also echoed Sharpe’s stance, questioning why Amazon (where the movie is available) and / or the producers of the film, aren’t under the same scrutiny. Former NBA player Jay Williams also pointed out how white entertainers are not held to the same standard when they offend another race.

Days before Irving’s suspension was announced the hosts of  NBA on TNT ripped into Irving.

“I think the NBA dropped the ball. I think he should have been suspended. I think Adam [Silver] should have suspended him,” said Charles Barkley, who is himself no stranger to controversy. “They made a mistake… [and] I can’t believe we’re talking about this idiot.”

He continued, “We have suspended and fined people who have made homophobic slurs. I think if you insult the Black community you should be suspended or fined.”

“It hurts me that we have to sit up here and talk about stuff that divides us. We have to sit up here and answer for what this idiot has done. I stand for equality of all people, ” said Shaquille O’Neal. “You have to be aware of what you’re doing…Some people are conscious and some people are not. I can tell that he is not conscious. When you’re as great at basketball as he is, people listen to you.”

So do you agree with Charles and Shaq or Shannon and Jay? Let us know you thoughts below.

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