Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has apologized for sharing antisemitic content on social media, though not before the team suspended him for at least five games.
In a lengthy Instagram post on Thursday night, Irving said that he “posted a Documentary that contained some false anti-Semitic statements, narratives, and language that were untrue and offensive to the Jewish Race/Religion, and I take full accountability and responsibly for my actions.”
“I am grateful to have a big platform to share knowledge and I want to move forward by having an open dialogue to learn more and grow from this,” he added.
“To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize. I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the Documentary. I want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against Anti-[semitism] by apologizing for posting the documentary without context and a factual explanation outlining the specific beliefs in the Documentary I agreed with and disagreed with,” continued Irving.
“I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all. I am no different than any other human being. I am a seeker of truth and knowledge, and I know who I Am,” he concluded.
Irving last Thursday caused an uproar when he shared a link to a documentary called "Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America," based on a book of the same name by Ronald Dalton Jr. Both the book and movie have been criticized for their antisemitic message.
After the backlash, Irving deleted the controversial tweet but not before he defended his right to share it, getting into a heated exchange with ESPN reporter Nick Friedell following Brooklyn’s loss to Indiana on Saturday night.
On Wednesday, Irving and the Nets issued a joint statement with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in which they announced they will each donate $500,000 in the wake of Irving's controversial post.
A day later, NBA commissioner Adam Silver published a statement in which he criticized Irving over the antisemitic content and for failing to apologize for posting it.
“Kyrie Irving made a reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive antisemitic material,” said Silver, who is Jewish, in the statement.
“While we appreciate the fact that he agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to combat antisemitism and other forms of discrimination, I am disappointed that he has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize,” added the Commissioner.
“I will be meeting with Kyrie in person in the next week to discuss this situation,” he concluded.
Hours later, the Nets announced that Irving would be suspended for “no less than five games” without pay “until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct”.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)