Jay Williams: “Every day of my life I approach it with a state of empathy. Regardless of what color, creed, or race you are, I look at people as human beings. I think that’s important. But life is always about taking a stand and holding principles, so I want to explain what I feel my stance is as a Black male in this world. In conversations I’ve had with my brothers and sisters in the Black community, I want you guys to empathize with me and hear me on it. So when I hear what Kyrie Irving has to go through in order to be reinstated I’m appalled. Let me give examples of how I feel like we don’t have the same energy and hold other people who have dealt with racial tropes accountable. So when Sarah Silverman does blackface, or when Don Imus says ‘nappy-headed hoes’, or when Howard Stern calls somebody the n-word in a skit, or when Brett Favre takes money from the state of Mississippi, we don’t ask them to get 'sensitivity training', we don’t ask them to donate $500,000, we don’t ask them to meet with the Black National Caucus... They apologize and then the rest of the world moves on. In the Black community, that’s what we’ve been told how the process works. Somebody does blackface, ‘oh, it was a misunderstanding, we got it!’ OK, is that person racist? Probably not. Was it ignorant? Probably so. OK, we understand it, we move forward. We don’t like it, we would love to hold them accountable, but society, and not having a lot of Black people in positions of power, we don’t have the governing ability to do that. Even after an apology with Kyrie, it’s not enough. We feel like there needs to be more. Older mentors of mine talk about ‘buck breaking.’ This is something that happened way back in the day where if there was a slave that was defiant, he got broken in front of everybody in order to show that he was not in a position of power, and at the end of the day he has to do what he was told to do because that’s what was mandated of him. There is a bigger situation going on with what is happening with Kyrie Irving. If the Nets don’t want him to be there, just say you don’t want him to be there, but we should hold everybody accountable, even owners of teams accountable with things that are happening in other countries, i.e. China, and Uyghurs, and the Muslim genocide that is occurring that we hear Enes Kanter talk about. But we don’t keep the same energy for everybody, we pick and choose what conversation points we want to make more polarizing. I might lose my job, I might lose deal opportunities in the future for speaking out. Even the platform continues to profit off a movie that was considered anti-Semitic to billions of people. They don’t have to be held accountable. Who is held accountable?? We’re going to put everything on the shoulders of Kyrie Irving, even though he said ‘I cannot be anti-Semitic because I know where I came from’ stating that he’s one of the four lost tribes. He’s saying that Blacks and Jews come from the same entity. But we don’t understand nuance, we want to be triggered by words, and we like fire, and we like things that are going viral on social media, and everybody has some sort of hot take, and we’re calling people idiots, and calling people names because that’s what we do. We just destroy each other. I’m not going to ‘destroy each other’, man. Is Kyrie Irving anti-Semitic? Hell no. Could he have gone about it maybe a different way? That’s what I would have advised him to do. I’m not going to sit out here and let you guys make this dude out to be like he’s a villain, like he’s a bad person. He is looking to explore his heritage. You can crucify me if you want, I don’t give a damn anymore. It’s time for people to start speaking out with nuance, and speaking out on the principles they stand for.”
Watch media personality Jay Williams defend Kyrie Irving amid the intense backlash Irving has garnered since he retweeted a controversial link to a documentary on Amazon that many have labeled anti-Semitic.
Williams calls out the hypocrisy of Irving’s seemingly cruel and unusual punishment that seems excessively unprecedented given Irving has already apologized and clarified his actions.
Check out the segment above as Williams details why he doesn't believe Irving should be portrayed as a villain.