Washington Wizards Jewish wingman Deni Avdija is trying to stay calm amid the ongoing league fiasco created by Kyrie Irving.
“I think people look up to him,” Avdija said about Irving, per Noah Trister of AP. “You can think whatever you want, you can do whatever you want. Just, I don’t think it’s right to go out in public and publish it and let little kids that follow you see it, and the generations that come after to think like that, because it’s not true, and I don’t think it’s fair.”
Irving, who promoted the 2018 antisemitic film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on his Twitter account last week, is currently serving his team suspension after his disappointing hesitancy to apologize for his controversial actions. He was out for the Brooklyn Nets’ Friday matchup against the Wizards and will remain shelved indefinitely.
The Istraeli-born Avdija can’t hide his disappointment on what Irving has done for posting the Amazon link of the said film, and even defending it lately on a viral postgame bout with ESPN’s Nick Friedell.
“I’m Jewish, and I love my culture, I love my country,” he said. “It’s a little upsetting to hear some stuff about your religion. Just spread love, man. Love everybody, love all cultures.”
The second-year forward and former Istraeli League MVP also revealed that he received plenty of antisemitism treatment from the past, but he kept his positivity as a priority that should be minded of.
“In terms of things like that, it’s always going to be there. It will never go away,” he said. “It’s just, if you want to pay attention to the stuff or you just want to keep moving and focus on the important stuff in life. I’m a positive guy. I’m not looking for the bad things.”
As such, he expressed his support for the punishment that was slapped by Irving.
The Nike brand recently strapped its relationship with the All-Star guard, even cancelling the release of his next Kyrie 8 signature shoe. To add up, Irving is also slated to have a sit down meeting with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
“I think there need to be consequences for the actions that players do,” Avdija said. “I don’t know the amount, the punishment that the league gives, but I think it needs to be known that there’s no room for words like that.”