Kyrie Irving is Putting a Spotlight on Black Women With a New TV Special
Kyrie Irving has become one of the NBA’s most outspoken players in the last few years. While it is easy to focus on outlandish claims regarding the shape of the earth, Kyrie Irving has also used his voice for good when it comes to social justice. The All-Star point guard is looking to expand his reach on social justice by going away from basketball and into television. He’s currently producing a special about Breonna Taylor, who was killed in her own home by police officers.
Who is Kyrie Irving?
Kyrie Irving burst onto the national scene in high school, but it was his year at Duke that put him on the map. The consensus No. 1 pick, Irving sat out a large chunk of his only college season with an injury. This didn’t affect his draft stock, however. When the Cavaliers got the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft just one year after LeBron James for Miami, Irving was their heir apparent.
The Cavaliers struggled to amass any wins with Irving as their leader, but his skill was undeniable. While the team continued to dwell at the bottom of the league’s standings, Irving made himself one of the best point guards in the NBA. His ability to get by any defender and come up big when needed made him one of the most exciting young stars in the NBA.
In 2014, James shocked the world by returning to Cleveland. After Kevin Love joined the team, suddenly, the Cavaliers were contenders for the first time since James’ first stint with the team. Over the next three years, the Irving and the Cavaliers faced off against the Golden State Warriors, winning in 2016. However, after losing in 2017, Irving wanted a change of scenery where he wasn’t viewed as a sidekick.
The Cavaliers obliged him and sent him off to the rival Boston Celtics, where he spent two years but ultimately fell short of his goal. He signed with the Brooklyn Nets in 2019, but injuries plagued his first season with the new team.
Kyrie Irving: activist
Irving wasn’t always outspoken on social issues. At just 19 years of age coming into the NBA, he took everything in and learned how to use his voice for good. Recently, he began speaking more pointedly about the problems going on in America and around the world. When the NBA got caught up in the Hong Kong protests, Irving voiced his support for protesters.
Irving spoke about his desire to amplify what’s on his mind whenever he feels led to on these issues in October.
F “I stand for four things, man,” he told Bleacher Report. “Inner peace. Freedom. Equality and World Peace. So, if that is being conflicted inside of me, I am definitely going to have something to say.”‘
More recently, Irving, who is sitting out the rest of the season as he nurses himself back to health, was among the leading voices of dissent about the NBA’s return and how it would affect movements like Black Lives Matter. By producing this documentary, however, he is expanding his reach beyond the NBA.
According to Complex, Kyrie Irving paired up with rapper Common and leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement to produce #SayHerName, which was put together and aired in the months following Taylor’s death. The special premiered on July 8th on the digital broadcast network PlayersTV. Irving saw the documentary as a way to further his impact on society past the basketball court.
“[It is] critical to magnify how these unjust behaviors and practices are directly impacting Black women,” Irving explained to ESPN (per Complex).
The documentary is available online and is just the latest in a trend of documentaries produced by NBA players with the intent of showing greater issues. His return to the court might not come any time soon, but Irving is having, perhaps, his most significant impact off the court since joining the NBA family.