Kyrie Irving

If there’s one thing that “free thinkers” like Aaron Rodgers and Kyrie Irving have shown us, it’s that for as much as they love to present their poorly presented arguments as undeniable facts, they bristle at even the slightest criticism of their unimpeachable intellect. ESPN reporter Nick Friedell showcased what happens when you not only push back on their misguided rhetoric but also stand your ground while they lose their cool.

Irving made headlines on Thursday when he shared a link with his massive Twitter and Instagram following to a 2018 movie titled Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, a film that has been heavily criticized for containing antisemitic disinformation. Irving’s controversial post also comes after he amplified conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Irving was condemned and called out by many people in the sports community, including Nets broadcaster Richard Jefferson and team owner Joe Tsai.

During Saturday night’s press conference after Brooklyn’s loss to the Indiana Pacers, a smug Irving explained his reasoning for posting the video and continuing to leave it up after he was heavily criticized, pushing back on Friedell as the reporter continued to ask the NBA star to explain why he stands by the offending posts. Irving went as far as to accuse Friedell of trying to “dehumanize” him with his line of questioning, and he eventually tried to shut down the reporter instead of answering the fundamental question of why he is keeping up the posts.

While Irving certainly appears to feel like he came away as the victor here, many in the sports media world rallied around Friedell afterward, sharing their appreciation for the reporter’s ability to ask tough questions, maintain civility, and continue the attempt to get simple answers in spite of Irving’s obfuscation.

Both Irving and Friedell appear to be moving on based on their Sunday tweets, though it doesn’t sound like the Nets star will be changing his stances anytime soon.

The NBA has released a vague statement against antisemitism without naming Irving, something they were criticized for. But if Irving continued to peddle this kind of rhetoric, it’s hard to imagine they’ll stand pat. It’s even harder to imagine that other reporters aren’t going to take Friedell’s lead and continue asking Kyrie tough questions, whether he likes it or not.

[YES Network]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to