Kyrie Irving bought a house for George Floyd’s family
The embattled Brooklyn Nets star has reportedly purchased a home for Floyd's daughter and her mother
NBA player Kyrie Irving may be MIA from the Brooklyn Nets, but he’s remained involved in his social justice work. The outspoken player has been fined almost a million dollars for violating COVID-19 protocols after giving his sister, Asia, a birthday party with a group of guests that were not wearing masks.
He’s also missed six games with no public explanation and with varying reports of the communication between him and the team. But despite his issues, Irving has used his platform to support his activism. As a vice-president of the NBA Player’s Association, Irving was one of the most outspoken NBA players in the league, advocating that the players boycott the last season’s re-start in the wake of COVID-19 and the summer’s racial protests.
According to former NBA star Stephen Jackson, who was friends with fellow Texas native George Floyd, Irving purchased a home for Floyd’s daughter, Gianna, and her mother. Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers after an arrest for allegedly passing a counterfeit bill at a convenience store. Four officers kneeled on Floyd’s neck as he laid handcuffed on the ground, ultimately losing consciousness and then dying at a Minneapolis hospital.
On The Rematch podcast with former NBA player Etan Thomas, Jackson said that Irving and others have supported the family and that Irving purchased a home.
“She’s getting so much love — not just from us, but from people all around the world who are showing support,” Jackson said. “I’m just continuing to do what I said I was going to do; I said I was going to be my brother’s keeper and take care of his daughter and make sure that her next days are her best days. A lot of my friends [have helped]. Kyrie Irving bought them a house. Lil Wayne’s manager bought them a Mercedes Benz. Barbra Streisand gave them stock in Disney.
“I think God has definitely blessed her. I think she’s doing the best she’s ever done; she’s happy. We’re just waiting for this trial to get out of the way, so she doesn’t have to keep reliving the situation and she can go about living her life.”
Floyd’s death, recorded on bystander video, along with that of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor months before, sparked a global reckoning on race that has potentially created some permanent change.
Though Irving has yet to speak publicly on the reports that he urged an NBA boycott or speculation that he’s taken the games off in a silent protest of Jan. 6’s breach of the U.S. Capitol, he was part of a statement released last summer by the NBA and WNBA:
“Native indigenous African Caribbean men and women entertaining the world, we will continue to use our voices and platforms for positive change and truth.
We are truly at an inflection point in history where as a collective community, we can band together — UNIFY — and move as one. We need all our people with us and we will stand together in solidarity,’ read a portion of the statement.
“As an oppressed community we are going on 500-plus years of being systemically targeted, used for our IP [intellectual property]/Talent, and also still being killed by the very people that are supposed to ‘protect and serve’ us.”
The statement concluded by saying:
“This is not about individual players, athletes or entertainers. This is about our group of strong men and women uniting for change. We have our respective fields, however, we will not just shut up and play to distract us from what this whole system has been about: Use and Abuse.
We are all fathers, daughters, leaders and so much more. So what is our BIG picture? We are in this for UNITY and CHANGE!”
Irving is expected to return to the Nets later this week after spending much of last season healing after shoulder surgery.
You can watch Jackson’s interview in full below:
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