Seven-time NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving has done little to bite his tongue when addressing the racial climate in America over the past year. However, the Brooklyn Nets player’s latest spew of personal thoughts comes after being ejected during the third quarter of the April 10 game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Online, fans speculated that a verbal joust between Irving and Lakers’ Dennis Schröder may have provoked him to send out a tweet expressing his disdain for the N-word. Fans allege that Schröder may have said “damn, n- – -a” to Irving during the heated exchange before both men were ejected from the game — a career first for both.
Although Irving shared no words with postgame media, his tweet was loaded enough to hint at where his mind may have been. Schröder also has not commented on what words the two exchanged.
“The N-word is a derogatory racial slur! It will never be… a term of endearment, reclaimed, flipped. NEVER FORGET ITS FOUL AND TRUE HISTORY! Throw that N-word out the window, right alongside all of those other racist words used to describe my people. We are not slaves or N’s”
Given the nature of the sport and the banter that takes place between opponents, some fans were thrown off by Irving’s reaction.
“Poor little fella. Trying to insinuate something Dennis said and twist it to fit your woke narrative because your salt level of LeBron’s Lakers is extremely high.”
“Kyrie you dead ass wrong. First you was ALL in that man grill. Then he [Schroder] just said it like …’d–n n—a.'”
Others shared their perspectives on the use of the N-word.
“Facts. Its definition is an IGNORANT person.”
“Kyrie might not say it, so I will. The dude calling him that is German. He loves his people, and does not appreciate a foreigner using that word.”
“Nah fam, it’s already been flipped and reclaimed and used as a term of endearment so you all the way wrong. We took what they meant for evil and made it our own.”
An NBA reporter responded to Irving’s tweet alleging that the Nets’ player has used the word before. “I agree, but I’ve definitely heard Kyrie use the N-word in the locker room when talking to teammates. He just wanted an excuse to get on one with Dennis Schroder,” he said.
The racial epithet has long divided people who believe the word has a new meaning, those who are still enraged by its origins, and those at odds with not being allowed to use the word. But, in 2007 the NAACP attempted to put the word to rest once and for all.
With a funeral procession through Detroit, members of the organization carried a coffin covered by a ribbon that read: N- – -a.
The message was simple as then mayor Kwame Kilpatrick stated,“Good riddance. Die, N-word. We don’t want to see you around here no more.”