Kyrie Irving is returning to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday following an eight-game suspension and is available to play against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Nets suspended him indefinitely on Nov. 3 due to his conduct on social media when he tweeted about a book and movie that contained antisemitic ideas.
Irving told reporters on Sunday that he regretted his actions.
“I don’t stand for anything close to hate speech, or antisemitism, or anything that is anti going against the human race,” Irving said. “I feel like we all should have an opportunity to speak for ourselves when things are assumed about us. And I feel it was necessary for me to stand in this place and take accountability for my actions because there was a way I should have handled all of this.”
“I meant no harm to any person, any group of people,” he continued. “And yeah, this is a big moment for me because I’m able to learn throughout this process that the power of my voice is very strong. The influence that I have within my community is very strong. And I want to be responsible for that. In order to do that, we have to admit when you were wrong and instances where you hurt people and it impacts them.”
In a statement released Sunday, per ESPN, the team said Irving had made progress.
“Kyrie took ownership of his journey and had conversations with several members of the Jewish community. We are pleased that he is going about the process in a meaningful way,” the team said.
Prior to his suspension, Irving, 30, averaged 26.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists while shooting 45.3 percent from the field through eight games, all of which were starts. The Nets went 5-3 without him in the lineup, relying on Edmond Sumner to take on more of a workload in the backcourt.
–Field Level Media