UTAH

Utah Jazz clarify policy after rabbi asked to remove pro-Jewish sign

Jan 3, 2024, 6:00 AM | Updated: May 30, 2024, 8:59 am

Rabbi Avremi Zippel holds up a sign that say’s “I’m a Jew and I’m Proud” during the NBA b...

Rabbi Avremi Zippel holds up a sign that say’s “I’m a Jew and I’m Proud” during the NBA basketball game between the Utah Jazz and the Dallas Mavericks at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. (Megan Nielsen, Deseret News)

(Megan Nielsen, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah rabbi said he intended to send Kyrie Irving a message during Monday night’s Jazz game against the Dallas Mavericks. 

The message was clear. Written on a sign that Rabbi Avremi Zippel held up from his courtside Jazz seats, the words “I’m a Jew and I’m proud.” 

“Due to some of the disgusting and anti-Semitic comments that he [Irving] had made last year, we felt that it was important that, as Jews, we attend visibly, proudly,” Zippel told KSL NewsRadio. “Without booing him, without calling him out. Without any sort of verbal expression.”

Irving, an NBA Rookie of the Year and two-time NBA All-Star started with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Boston Celtics, and the Brooklyn Nets before he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 2022. Irving shared an X post (formerly Twitter) in 2021, supporting a group named the Black, or Radical, Hebrew Israelites. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists them as a hate group

When Irving refused to denounce the group or the X post, the Nets suspended him for five games. Later in 2022, Nike cut their ties with Irving over the incident.

Monday night’s Jazz game

The rabbi claims that Irving saw the sign he displayed at the Jazz game on Monday night and replied, “Nice, I’m Jewish too.”  Zippel said he replied, “Nice, happy new year.”

But then Zippel said Irving complained to the Dallas Mavericks security staff, who spoke with the Utah Jazz security staff. They asked Zippel to put the signs away, which he did.

But Zippel questions rules originally cited by Jazz security, saying there aren’t any specific rules in the NBA nor in the Jazz Code of Conduct that address this issue. 

On Tuesday, the Utah Jazz clarified their position.  “The Utah Jazz Code of Conduct is in place so that games can be played without distraction and disruption. The part-time employee who told the fans it was the content of the sign that was the problem, was incorrect,” read the Jazz statement.

Other reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah

The Pony Express Monument at this is the Place Heritage Park. Pony Express 150th anniversary. Tuesd...

Mary Culbertson

Pony Express to hit stops in Utah on commemorative ride of historic route

The Pony Express re-ride will be fully completed over the course of 10 days. Over 750 riders participate each year.

2 hours ago

A Herriman fire broke out on Sunday, leaving almost 6,000 people without power....

Kennedy Camarena

Downed powerline left close to 6,000 without power in Herriman

About 6,000 people were left without power on Sunday after a powerline fell and caused a fire in Herriman, Utah.

4 hours ago

Flash floods could appear in Southern Utah on Sunday and Monday. The Virgin River flows through thr...

Kennedy Camarena and Mark Jackson

Southern Utah: Potential for flash floods on Sunday and Monday, some flooding in Capitol Reef reported

The National Weather Service is predicting a potential of flash floods for Southern Utah on Sunday and Monday.

6 hours ago

Parts of Utah have been given a heat advisory on Sunday. A view of the state Capitol and the Salt L...

Kennedy Camarena

Parts of Utah under excessive heat warning

Utah has been given two different kinds of heat advisories for parts of the state by the National Weather Service on Sunday.

7 hours ago

Highway 128 is covered in mud after a severe storm and flooding in the area....

Kyle Remund

Cleanup begins after severe storm in eastern Utah

After a severe storm passed through Grand County, Utah, on Friday, officials are beginning cleanup and mitigation.

1 day ago

The rescue of an injured hiker at Lisa Falls...

Kyle Remund

Search and rescue pulls hiker from Lisa Falls

On Friday, search and rescue teams came to the aid of a hiker who had fallen at Lisa Falls in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Utah Jazz clarify policy after rabbi asked to remove pro-Jewish sign