Lakers News: LeBron James Responds To Kyrie Irving Controversy Saying He Doesn’t Condone ‘Hate Of Any Kind’
LeBron James, Lakers
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has never been one to be afraid to speak on social issues to hit close to for him. That was again the case after the Lakers’ loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday night when James was asked about the Kyrie Irving controversy.

James’ former teammate was recently suspended by the Brooklyn Nets after he posted a link to a film on his Twitter page that included a quote attributed to Adolf Hitler and a denial of the Holocaust.

Irving was given multiple opportunities to apologize and condemn antisemitism but did not until after his suspension, which will be at least five games.

Even though James has a relationship with Irving dating back to their days on the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Lakers star was not afraid to speak out against hate of Jewish people and all others.

“I can tell you this. It’s simple. Me, personally, I don’t condone any hate to any kinds, any race, to Jewish communities, to Black communities, to Asian communities. You guys know where I stand,” James said Friday night.

“I believe what Kyrie did caused some harm to a lot of people,” James continued. “He has since, over the last – today, or was it yesterday? – he apologized. But he caused some harm, and I think it’s unfortunate. I don’t stand on the position to harm people when it comes to your voice or your platform or anything. So, it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how tall you are, what position you are in. If you are promoting or soliciting or saying harmful things to any community that harm people, then I don’t respect it. I don’t condone it.”

Not only was Irving suspended by the Nets, but he also lost some sponsorships including being suspended by Nike, who will hold off the release of his Kyrie 8s.

LeBron obviously has a close relationship with Nike and was asked what steps Kyrie could take to get that partnership back.

“I don’t know. Because at the end of the day, Kyrie is his own man. He stands up in front of the media and speaks. He is a man and [from] a great family. He’s a great … I love the kid. He’s not even a kid no more. He’s 30. He just said that the other day in his presser and I was like, that’s insane.

“I don’t know the direction, the steps that he takes, but he’s apologized for what he said and I hope that he understands that what he said was harmful to a lot of people. And we as humans, none of us are perfect, but I hope he understands what he did and the actions that he took are just harmful to a lot of people. I really didn’t get into it too much. But, I understand that when you’re hurting anybody, I understand that. That is just common sense.”

It is good to see that James and other NBA stars are beginning to speak out on the matter and are condoning antisemitism and all other hate. Hopefully, Irving can learn from this experience and be willing to listen to others more moving forward or else his NBA career may be in jeopardy.

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