Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics are struggling right now, and Irving was in a less than jovial mood after Boston’s latest loss on Wednesday night. The Celtics dropped a home game on Thanksgiving Eve to the New York Knicks, and after the game, someone wished Irving a Happy Thanksgiving. He offered up an alternative: “F*ck Thanksgiving,” Irving said to the assembled media.
It quickly became a bit of news because, well, a lot of people like Thanksgiving! And it seems like a rather innocuous holiday about eating on the surface. But Irving is an educated guy and knows his history. His mother is also Native American, and a proud member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The point is that there are plenty of reasons for Irving not to be thrilled about the holiday that many feel glorify the genocide of First Nations and native people in North America, and that’s his right to feel that way.
Still, Irving offered up an apology for offending any big fans of turkey and stuffing on Thursday while much of the country was watching inflated characters parade through Manhattan. Irving tweeted Thursday that he didn’t mean to offend anyone who likes Thanksgiving.
The timing of this all is curious, as a pretty great ad where Irving spoke about how thankful he is for his father dropped earlier in the week. So it’s not like Kyrie is immune to the concept of giving thanks. Still, Irving is in a group of a lot of people who think a bit differently about the national holiday than most do. He’s got good reason to feel that way, but perhaps he could have been more eloquent in explaining why.
There’s always next time. Or, you know, Columbus Day.