Kyrie Irving Receives Five-Game Suspension From Brooklyn Nets For An Anti-Semitic Post
Kyrie Irving, the star player for the Brooklyn Nets, issued an apology late on Thursday for endorsing a movie that he said had “false anti-Semitic accusations.” This apology came just hours after his team punished him for failing to denounce anti-Semitism.
Since sharing a link to a 2018 remark on Twitter last week and defending the article over the weekend, Irving has come in for harsh criticism. The tweet from the seven-time All-Star was later removed.
He apologized to those “hurt by the vile words stated in the documentary” in a post on Instagram and claimed complete responsibility for his choice to share the material with his followers.
“Some erroneous anti-Semitic themes, narratives, and language that were inaccurate and hurtful to the Jewish race and religion,” according to Irving, were included in the movie.
By apologizing for posting the documentary without context and providing a factual explanation of the precise points in the documentary I agreed with and disagreed with, Irving stated, “I want to clear up any confusion on where I stand fighting against anti-Semitism.”
Before Irving tweeted his apology, the Nets had already suspended him for at least five games. He said that even though he had held two press conferences, he had still refused to condemn anti-Semitism.
In a statement announcing Kyrie’s suspension, the Nets said, “We were shocked that, when given the chance today in a media session, Kyrie refused to say unequivocally that he doesn’t have anti-Semitic views or talk about some of the vile things in the film.”
In response to Reuters’ request for comment over Irving’s apology, the team did not immediately respond. He would be punished for a minimum of five games until he takes a number of undefined “remedial steps,” according to the Nets.
Statement from the Brooklyn Nets
Irving stated in his news conference earlier on Thursday that he had no malicious intent. Although he admitted sending the link, he did not expressly condemn the movie or its content, which has been criticized as anti-Semitic by civil rights activists.
“I originally responded out of emotion to being unfairly labeled anti-Semitic instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish brothers and sisters who were harmed by the vile statements aired in the documentary,” Irving wrote in an apology on Instagram.
The dispute arises at a delicate time for Jews in the US. The New York City borough of Brooklyn, which has one of the densest Jewish communities in the world, is direct across the bay from New Jersey, where the FBI issued a credible threat warning on Thursday.
Statement from the Brooklyn Nets pic.twitter.com/699px8XYpx
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 4, 2022
Irving’s suspension and apology are a response to the uproar that Ye, the musician formerly known as Kanye West, caused last month when he was banned from social media for postings that internet users thought were anti-Semitic.
The Nets’ next game is against the Wizards at Washington on Friday night. Irving would be eligible to play on Nov. 13 against the Lakers in Los Angeles if he completes a five-game suspension.
On Wednesday, Irving, the Nets, and the Anti-Defamation League released a joint statement in which they declared their opposition to all forms of intolerance. He and the Nets pledged to provide $500,000 each to groups that fight against hatred.
The National Basketball Association and the union that represents its players have both condemned hate speech in statements. On Thursday night, a request for comment from the union received no response.
In a statement on Thursday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that Kyrie Irving “made a stupid choice” when he posted a link to a DVD with very offensive anti-Semitic propaganda.