On Friday afternoon, Twitter was full of massive support from Black Americans for Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving. Hashtags such as “#IStandWithKyrie,” "Free Kyrie” and “#BoycottTheNBA” were trending in the sports section. This came a day after he was suspended at least five games for so-called “promoting” in what many in the media as an antisemitic film, one that he apologized for on Thursday night.
More than 14,000 tweets mentioning #IStandWithKyrie had emerged by Friday evening, along with more than 7,600 saying “Free Kyrie.”
On Thursday night, the Nets announced that Irving would be suspended without pay for at least five games. His offense was retweeting an antisemitic film last week and then taking too long to apologize, they claim his "conduct detrimental to the team.”
After Irving was suspended, he quickly issued an apology on Instagram. However, Nets general manager Sean Marks said Friday that in addition to this, Irving will have to meet with Jewish leaders and counselors before his suspension can be lifted.
Many people in the black community came out to support Kyrie Irving and inspire the #IStandWithKyrie and #BoycottTheNBA hashtags. Notable names who expressed support are Tariq Nasheed, Dr. Boyce Watkins, Rizza Islam just to name a few.