As Kyrie Irving remains suspended by the Brooklyn Nets after tweeting links to an antisemitic movie, Stephen A. Smith recently came to his defense and blasted Jeff Bezos for continuing to sell the film on Amazon.
In recent years, Smith has been one of Irving’s biggest critics, calling out the seven-time All-Star for his inability to be relied upon. But last week, Smith defended Irving from his latest controversy, claiming the Nets are attempting “emasculate” their point guard by placing a figurative knee on his neck. And while Irving remains punished for his actions, Smith is demanding Bezos to be held to the same standard.
“Jeff Bezos, you’re supposed to be a better man than that. Get rid of that. Get that off your platform, please, since all of this noise is being made,” Smith said on First Take. “Why, because he’s worth billions? And he owns Amazon, so we’re not gonna say anything about him, but we’re gonna rake Kyrie Irving through the coals?”
Irving sparked his current controversy with social media posts on Oct. 27 which linked to Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America on Amazon, a film and book known to contain antisemitic tropes. After failing to properly apologize or even deny that he has any antisemitic beliefs of his own, the Nets suspended Irving indefinitely and reportedly handed him a list of tasks to complete before he would be eligible for reinstatement. Since being suspended, Irving has issued a more direct apology, which Smith believes should be enough for him to get back on the court, especially as Bezos continues to sell the film in question.
“You’re just providing validation to the level of frustration Black people in America feel time and time again,” Smith said of Irving being publicly chastised while Bezos and Amazon have avoided similar condemnation. “You’re holding us to different standards. It’s never fair to us. And this is the latest example, and it’s sickening.”
Smith was not the first to call out Bezos. ESPN’s Jay Williams made a similar plea to hold Amazon accountable in the wake of Irving’s antisemitic posts. Last week, a group of celebrities and activists also sent a public letter to Bezos urging him to remove the antisemitic film and book from Amazon. As of noon on Monday Nov. 14, Amazon is still selling Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America.