NBA's Kyrie Irving 'too upset over Palestine' to focus on basketball
"I'm not going to lie to you guys, a lot of stuff is going on in this world, and basketball is just not the most important thing to me right now," the Brooklyn Nets player said at a postgame press conference on Saturday.
"I focus on this most of the time, 24/7, but it’s just too much going on in this world not to address. It’s just sad to see this s*** going on. It’s not just in Palestine, not just in Israel. It's all over the world, and I feel it. I’m very compassionate to it — to all races, all cultures and to see it, to see a lot of people being discriminated against, based on their religion, colour of their skin, what they believe in. It’s just sad."
"I don't care which way you stand on - either side," Irving added. "If you're a human being, then you support the anti-war effort. There's a lot of people losing their lives - children, a lot of babies, and that's just what I’m focused on."
His comments come as Israel continues its ongoing military assault against the besieged Gaza Strip and pushes for the displacing Palestinians from a neighbourhood in East Jerusalem.
The expulsion of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah has triggered protests across the world, along with action in the occupied West Bank, besieged Gaza, and within Israel.
At least 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes since last Monday, including 59 children and 35 women, and more than 1,305 injured.
In the occupied West Bank, 21 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and 4,363 have been wounded, after demonstrations broke out in response to the bombing of besieged Gaza, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
Palestinian citizens of Israel have been attacked by far-right Israelis, with lynchings, shootings, and properties and places of worship being burned down.