The Controversy Surrounding Kyrie Irving and a Pro-Jewish Sign: Insights from a Utah Rabbi

A Utah rabbi claims security guards asked his group to put down their “I’m a Jew and I’m Proud” signs due to a courtside interaction with Kyrie Irving. Rabbi Avremi Zippel, a die-hard Utah Jazz fan, and three others were at Monday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks to send a message to Irving, the mercurial point guard who previously promoted an antisemitic film on his Twitter account. Zippel said, “Some of the things that Kyrie said about the Jewish community and about Holocaust denial were vile and disgusting.” During an inbound pass, Irving was standing near Zippel and his group when he said “Nice, I’m a Jew, too,” and pointed out his Star of David tattoo, allegedly following it up by yelling, “Don’t gotta bring something like that to the game.” Zippel said his group was approached by security and asked to put the signs away. The Jazz denied claims that the sign’s content was the reason for requesting the takedown. The Utah Jazz Code of Conduct is in place so that games can be played without distraction and disruption. Zippel took exception to the decision, calling the whole thing “just disappointing” on Twitter. Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks did not respond to the Salt Lake Tribune’s request for comment. Irving was suspended indefinitely by the NBA in 2022 after promoting an anti-Semitic film and literature to social media.