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How the Brooklyn Nets are handling the Kyrie Irving situation
What I’m Hearing: USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt relays what he’s hearing from the Brooklyn Nets on star Kyrie Irving’s absence from the team.
What I’m Hearing, USA TODAY
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has repeatedly backed several social justice efforts and has been a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, he helped the family of George Floyd.
While speaking on “The Rematch” podcast with former NBA player Etan Thomas, fellow former NBA player Stephen Jackson said that Irving bought Floyd’s family a house. Jackson, who was a family friend of Floyd’s, said after his death this summer that he would take it upon himself to watch over Floyd’s daughter, Gianna Floyd.
“She’s getting so much love, from not just us, but from people all around the world who are showing support,” Jackson said. “I’m just continuing to do what I said I was going to do. I said I was going to be my brother’s keeper and take care of his daughter and make sure that her next days are her best days. I had a lot of my friends — Kyrie Irving bought them a house. Lil Wayne’s manager bought them a Mercedes-Benz. Barbra Streisand gave them stock in Disney.”
Floyd was a 46-year-old Black man who was killed Memorial Day after former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. Bystanders recorded video of the incident and shared it on social media channels. Once it went viral, it caused an outpouring of outrage.
While Chauvin pinned Floyd, the three other officers at the scene were recorded standing by and did not intervene.
Irving in July pledged $1.5 million to help WNBA players who opted out of their season as part of his KAI Empowerment Initiative to promote equality for women. Also in July, Irving joined rapper Common and others for a TV special calling for action following the death of Breonna Taylor.
Taylor was a 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician who was shot eight times in Louisville, Kentucky, by plainclothes officers serving a narcotics search warrant without knocking at her apartment on March 13.
Irving has not played in a game since Jan. 5, citing personal reasons for the first five games. He was also fined by the NBA and had game checks forfeited after he violated the NBA’s health and safety protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Videos posted to social media showed Irving inside an establishment while maskless for his sister’s birthday party.
Contributing: Associated Press