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‘Deal With It’: Kyrie Irving Unapologetic to Critics Upset He Said ‘Black Kings Built’ the NBA

“Sorry, not sorry” is Kyrie Irving’s attitude toward critics who have a problem with him saying the National Basketball Association was built by “BLACK KINGS.” Irving made the comment in the caption of an Instagram post reviving calls for the NBA to change its official logo to Kobe Bryant’s silhouette.

“Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says. BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE,” Irving wrote Wednesday, Feb. 27, under an image of Bryant superimposed over the NBA logo created by artist Tyson Beck.

@kyrieirving/Instagram

The idea to change the NBA logo first gained traction after the L.A. Lakers legend, his daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash last January. A petition to change the logo to Bryant is still racking up signatures to this day and had over 3 million at the time of this writing.

Irving’s comment about the league being built by Black kings didn’t go over well with some fans who used the “What if there was a white history month” argument.

One user @timhumphrey45 responded in the comments writing, “football came from rugby. As far as i know, that was a european and australian thing. What would you think if someone said NFL was made by White Kings? There is better ways to get your message across then choose your words better to express yourself. The topic of kobe being the logo has zero to do with your opinion of how the league got where it is. Educate yourself before talking out of you’re ass.”

“Why make everything about color though” another user @newyorkconnections commented. “Kinda racist, no?” asked another user @ryan.gallaue12. “Bruh really used the race card,” yet another user @jimwokeup added.

There were other fans who agreed with Irving. “Facts. Also…Bill Russell should’ve been the logo in the first place. We know why they picked Jerry West,” @ljayt_85 wrote. “It’s only right!” @balldontstop replied. “Race shouldn’t matter but Kobe should def be logo,” @s.zach.ary wrote.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – DECEMBER 18: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets warms up before the preseason game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on December 18, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Irving was unbothered by his critics. He essentially had an “I said what I said” moment and doubled down on his Black kings comments later in the thread. “To: All the people who say it is not about color ‘BLACK’ or ‘BLACK KINGS’ That’s what we call ourselves And that’s what oppressors refused to call MY ancestors. BLACK KINGS. Deal with it!” Irving responded.

The current NBA logo features a silhouette of Hall of Fame guard Jerry West, who has come out in support of changing the logo in the past, according to ESPN. “I don’t like to do anything to call attention to myself,” West said on ESPN’s “The Jump.” West also told the HuffPost in 2015 the logo should feature Michael Jordan.

“I hate to say it’s not a Laker, but Michael Jordan,” West said then. “He’s been the greatest player I’ve ever seen. And I’m probably a harsh judge of talent in the sense that I admire players that are really good defensive players and really good offensive players. And I felt that at his time in the game, he was the best defensive player in the game, but more importantly, he was the best offensive player. And he made his teams win.”

In addition to fellow fans and players who weren’t upset by Irving’s remark, Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, has come out in support of the idea. She shared Irving’s post on her Instagram stories along with the caption “Love this.”

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