Kyrie Irving and Dave Chappelle are getting played.
This isn’t a battle of free speech or free will. And no matter how some may try to spin it, this isn’t a debate on whether or not the government or corporate entities should be allowed to mandate human rights.
No, what we’re watching is two men who falsely believe that their “good intentions” trump faulty execution, while not realizing that their names and “stances” are being pimped by the same people they originally wanted to stand against.
On Monday, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Washington Wizards, 104-99. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 25 points and James Harden chipped in with 14 and a game-high 9 assists. The win put the Nets at .500, as they currently stand at 2-2 as they’re still trying to adjust without Irving on the floor.
“While we are playing in a game, I am not going to sit there and say ... when we get down or it is a tight game, like ‘Damn, we don’t have enough,” Durant said after a recent loss. “We are not going to be thinking about [that] during the game. We definitely want Kyrie Irving out here on the floor. And he is a huge part of what we do. But it is not happening right now. So we got to figure it out.
“But no one is going to lose confidence while we playing and hope Kyrie comes to save us during the game. No, we got to play. Everybody here is confident in what they do. We just got to play.”
Durant made those comments after the Nets fell at home to the Hornets, which is why Monday’s win against the Wizards was much needed. However, basketball hasn’t been the main story when it comes to the Nets, and Monday was a good example of why.
Like Irving, Wizards star guard Bradley Beal is an anti-vaxxer. But, unlike, Irving, he isn’t catching as much heat, nor has he willingly become the face of a “movement.” On Sunday, protesters against vaccine mandates broke through barricades at the Barclays Center chanting, “Let Kyrie Play.” It was a disturbing scene for many reasons, but mainly because it was very reminiscent of what we saw take place on January 6. Sunday was also the same day that Rolling Stone dropped an exclusive report on how some of the white homegrown terrorists that stormed the Capitol revealed that they participated in “dozens” of planning meetings with members of Congress and White House staff, as promises of “blanket pardons’’ were made from the Oval Office.
Irving — the man that has been more than generous with his time and money by donating to the WNBA, his Native American people, to the hungry, and even bought a house for George Floyd’s family — is now being used as a puppet by the same crowd that doesn’t give a damn about his Black life.
This is what happens when you think you’re always the smartest person in the room when you’re actually just a narcissist that surrounds himself with idiots.
To us, you’re a contrarian without a cause. To them, you’re a gullible pawn.
Also on Monday, Dave Chappelle proved that he’s forever fallen down the same hole that Irving has when he released a video on Instagram in which he once again dug into his “stance,” as he keeps trying to play the victim due to the controversy his latest standup special The Closer has caused at Netflix and within the LGBTQ community because of his continued harmful jokes against the transgender community. Earlier this month, Netflix suspended a trans employee that publicly spoke out against Chappelle.
“I want everyone in this audience to know that even though the media frames it that it’s me versus that community, that is not what it is. Do not blame the LBGTQ [sic] community for any of this shit,” said Chappelle. “This has nothing to do with them. It’s about corporate interests and what I can say and what I cannot say. For the record, and I need you to know this, everyone I know from that community has been loving and supporting, so I don’t know what all this nonsense is about.”
He then followed that up by saying this:
“To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody’s demands.”
This is what happens when you see yourself as the leader of a genre — comedy — during a time in which most of your colleagues feel like they’re the only ones that shouldn’t be required to evolve.
To us, you’re a contrarian with a flawed and outdated cause. To them, you’re an easily manipulated pawn.
(This is the part where I remind you that even Eddie Murphy said he cringes at some of his old jokes. “I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I said that,” Murphy revealed in 2019.)
At this point, I’m unbothered by those that agree or disagree with Irving and Chappelle, because we’ve reached a moment where you’re steadfast on what side you stand when it comes to them. But, right now, this isn’t about who’s “making good points” or “raging against the machine.” It’s about willingly falling victim to a crowd of people who would never do the same for you, as Irving and Chappelle’s narcissism has left them blind to the fact that they’ve become puppets in a real-time minstrel show. And the hands that are pulling those strings are white.
I mean, look at who’s “supporting” them.
For Irving, the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Clay Travis, Lavern Spencer, Donald Trump Jr., and Ted Cruz — individuals that have proven through their words, actions, and legislation that they don’t care about Black people — especially the ones that dribble a basketball for a living.
For Chappelle, comedians like Joe Rogan, Louis C.K., and Jon Stewart have all supported him in some form — white men that have a history of crossing the line when it comes to saying and doing insensitive things towards Black people and women, or either come off as progressive commentators when it’s convenient.
Kyrie Irving can’t see the back screen coming. Dave Chappelle doesn’t realize he’s a punchline.
Who’s the pawn now?