When millions of Americans sat down on Thursday afternoon to celebrate Thanksgiving, Kyrie Irving was not be one of them.
The Boston Celtics point guard doesn’t celebrate the holiday.
When leaving his postgame interview on Wednesday night after the Celtics’ 117-109 loss to the New York Knicks in Boston, someone wished him a “Happy Thanksgiving.”
Irving, clearly not a fan of the holiday, didn’t hold back.
“I don’t celebrate that” Irving said.
While it may sound ridiculous to some, that mindset is nothing new for Irving, who has a history of hating holidays. Last December, he told a reporter that he doesn’t “necessarily think of Christmas as a holiday.”
On the one hand, it’s hard to understand what somebody doesn’t like about a holiday where you get a day off of work and get to eat a huge meal. On the other, for Irving especially, it makes perfect sense.
Irving’s mother was born into the Standing Rock Sioux tribe before she was adopted, and he was given the Lakota name Little Mountain — or “Hela” in the Lakota language — by the tribe when he went to visit in North Dakota in August.
“There was a certain point in my life where I had come almost at a crossroads with my dad, my sister, my friends, my grandparents, and I had no idea kind of what direction to go into because I had lost the sense of a foundation,” Irving told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst in August. “Knowing my mom passed and left me such a powerful, empowering family such as Standing Rock … to be a part of it now, this is family for life.”
Many were taught that the first Thanksgiving was a time when the pilgrims and Native Americans came together in peace upon their arrival in North America. However thousands of Native Americans were killed due to disease brought over from Europe, and the time marked the start of the slaughter and future removal of the majority of Native Americans from the United States.
Today, many simply view the holiday as a time to get together with family and celebrate a meal. Irving recognized that in a tweet on Thursday morning.
“I spoke w/ frustration after last nights game and spoke words that shouldn’t be in a professional setting no matter what.” Irving said in the post.
Meant no disrespect to the Holiday and those who celebrate it respectfully. I’m grateful for the time We all can share with our families. We are always ONE.