During his postgame news conference, Irving discussed being part of the Muslim community and what it’s like observing Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of spiritual contemplation, fasting, and community. Those who observe Ramadan fast every day of the month, consuming no food or liquids from sunrise to sunset.
He said: “All praise is due to God, Allah, for this… For me, in terms of my faith and what I believe in, being part of the Muslim community, being committed to Islam, and also just being committed to all races and cultures, religions, just having an understanding and respect. I just want to put that as a foundation. There’s such a divisive energy out here, or it’s been that way in our society, it’s just so divisive… bringing that into the game, I don’t want to, but obviously a lot of people have questions.
“But yeah, I am taking part in Ramadan with a lot of my Muslim brothers and sisters. And it’s been an adjustment. That’s really what I can say. It’s just being committed to my service to God, Allah, and then continuing on with whatever I’m guided with. I’m just happy to be part of my community and doing the right things. So, fasting is definitely is definitely part of it — if you know anything about the Muslim community. But yeah, just really blessed and grateful to be taking part of this.”
Irving didn’t say much about fasting beyond saying it’s an “adjustment,” but there’s no doubt that it is. Depending on the time of the games, he’s not able to eat or drink beforehand, or drink water while he’s playing.
This is the first time that Irving, 29, has discussed Islam publicly. He’s made reference to it a few times on social media, though. Back in March, he tweeted about Allah, which is God in Islam — though Allah is also the Arabic word for God, so it wasn’t clear at the time if he was speaking specifically about Islam.