Kyrie Irving has placed himself firmly back in the news cycle. This time it’s for being a hypocrite.
Last week, Irving decided to skip the Brooklyn Nets media availability, instead sending a statement to a team spokesperson saying he wouldn’t speak to the media because he wants to “let my work on and off the court speak for itself.”
He knew just like everyone else an ensuing fine was coming — $25,000 to be exact, which came Thursday. The Nets were levied the same amount by the league.
And what does Irving do then? Go on his Instagram Story and divulge his disdain for the media.
He began the post with a timely Malcolm X quote that I agree with, but it was used here as a tool to prop up his hypocrisy.
“I’ve had enough of someone else’s propaganda… I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such, I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole. — Malcolm X”
“I pray we utilize the ‘fine money’ for the marginalized communities in need, especially seeing where our world is presently. [I am] I am here for Peace, Love, and Greatness. So stop distracting me and my team, and appreciate the Art. We move different over here,” he wrote.
“I do not talk to Pawns. My attention is worth more.”
Irving’s critique of the media is fair game.
He rarely receives nuanced coverage. For example, he was cast as a “disruptor” and “agitator” earlier this summer for asking questions about the NBA’s restart motives amid the largest racial justice uprisings in history throughout the country.
Even when reports were saying fans “needed a distraction,” Irving was not with it. What was going on in the country was far more critical than professional sports.
In the media, there should have been far more coverage on Irving’s efforts getting NBA players focused on justice, and not theatrics for fans.
When he offered up $1.5 million of his own money to fund WNBA salaries for players who decided to opt-out of the season, there was little coverage of that comparatively.
Ditto that for his efforts a few months ago to get PPE and food to the Sioux Native tribe in South Dakota that his mother belonged to.
Or the town hall he hosted to get Breonna Taylor’s story out there.
And I don’t want to streamline our jobs as journalists. We’re supposed to cover and adequately frame all of these stories: the good, bad, and insane.
Irving calling all journalists “pawns” while also trying to make his case against broad-stroke character evaluations only hurts his argument.
I mean, if he doesn’t want to talk to the media, cool. Marshawn Lynch, Russell Westbrook, and even Paul George have been documented for sitting at the podium engaging in a staple act of not answering questions. Who can forget Lynch’s infamous, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined” presser?
Or, like Kyrie, you could go about your business and just take the fine.
But sending out cryptic messages online is not going to deliver the balanced framing of yourself you’re seeking.