Citing violence in the Middle East, the Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving says that basketball is not foremost on his mind due to the “dehumanization” he sees worldwide.
After the Nets’ 105-91 victory over the Chicago Bulls, Irving appeared before reporters and decried the ongoing conflagration between terrorist group Hamas and Israel, ESPN reported.
“I’m not going to lie to you guys, a lot of stuff is going on in this world, and basketball is just not the most important thing to me right now,” Irving exclaimed. “There’s a lot of things going on overseas. All our people are still in bondage across the world, and there’s a lot of dehumanization going on.”
“So I apologize if I’m not going to be focused on y’all’s questions. It’s just too much going on in the world for me to just be talking about basketball. I focus on this most of the time, 24/7, but it’s just too much going on in this world not to address,” he continued.
Irving piously added that the condition of the world sits heavily on his mind. “It’s just sad to see this shit going on. It’s not just in Palestine, not just in Israel. It’s all over the world, and I feel it. I’m very compassionate to it — to all races, all cultures, and to see it, to see a lot of people being discriminated against, based on their religion, color of their skin, what they believe in. It’s just sad,” he insisted.
“I don’t care which way you stand on. Either side,” Irving added. “If you’re a human being, then you support the anti-war effort. There’s a lot of people losing their lives — children, a lot of babies, and that’s just what I’m focused on.”
Irving then told reporters that they could ask about the game, but he “really doesn’t care” about sports right now. “I really don’t care about it except for everyone leaving the game healthy and being able to go home to their families,” he said.
The attacks in Israel and Palestine notwithstanding, Irving has been uninterested in talking to the media for a long time. Whether he is using his disgust over all the world’s problems as an excuse not to answer sports questions or not, he has neglected to talk to reporters all year. In fact, he was even fined by the league earlier this month for refusing to speak to the media in post-game pressers.
Regardless, Irving tried to frame his disinterest in talking about sports as an act of “love.”
“I just think you can’t be afraid to say what you believe in. It’s not about consuming information or trying to be right or politically correct,” he rhapsodized. “It’s about doing what God intends us all to do — that’s to stand on the good word of treating everyone with respect, compassion, and love.”
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