A group of rabbis were forced to put away their pro-Jewish signs at the Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks game on Monday ... after they claim Kyrie Irving complained to security, and asked the signs be removed.
However, a rep for the NBA superstar tells us that never happened.
Rabbi Avremi Zippel -- a diehard Jazz fan -- says he and his three peers copped courtside seats to the matchup on purpose ... with the intent to send a message to the NBA superstar after his antisemitism controversy from back in October 2022.
During the first quarter, the four rabbis held up signs that said "I'm a Jew and I'm Proud" ... and Irving acknowledged them.
Zippel claims Irving initially said, "Nice, I'm a Jew, too," ... before adding, "Don't gotta bring something like that to the game."
Shortly after the interaction, the rabbi says security came over and told them they had to quit holding up the signs ... citing a policy against having posters in the front row. A second staffer, Zippel claims, later told them it was because Irving complained.
Worth noting -- Zippel told the Salt Lake Tribune the signs were not meant as a political statement ... as they did not mention the war in Israel. He also told the outlet he went over the team's policy several times to make sure they weren't violating any rules.
Despite his research, the Jazz released a statement on the matter ... saying their signs broke the Code of Conduct.
"No matter where someone is in the arena, if a sign becomes distracting or sparks an interaction with a player, we will ask them to remove it," the team stated.
"During an out-of-bounds play in the first quarter of yesterday’s Jazz game against the Dallas Mavericks, there was a group sitting courtside whose signs sparked an interaction with a player that created a distraction and interfered with play of game."
"As the next step in standard security protocol, the fans were asked to take down their signs."
The team also clarified the removal was not due to what the signs said -- claiming, "The part-time employee who told the fans it was the content of the sign that was the problem was incorrect."
"The issue was the disruptive interaction caused by usage of the signs, not the content of the signs."
Zippel isn't buying the Jazz's explanation ... as he thinks the team cited policy in hopes the whole thing would blow over.