Kyrie Irving issues Instagram apology hours after Nets suspend him for statements on antisemitism

Kyrie Irving issues Instagram apology hours after Nets suspend him for statements on antisemitism

A week after promoting a film filled with antisemitic tropes on his social media accounts, Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving apologized for his actions late Thursday night following days of calls for him to apologize and fully disavow the film’s contents. 

Irving, 30, promoted “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” a film that is filled with antisemitic views on his Twitter and Instagram accounts on Oct. 27, and then spent much of the last week refusing to acknowledge how hateful and divisive the content is. 

That changed late Thursday night, when, hours after receiving a suspension of at least five games without pay from the Brooklyn Nets, Irving issued a public apology on Instagram, which reads in full below. 

“While doing research on YHWH, I 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 responsibility 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.

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. 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.”

The apology came after NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he was “disappointed” in Irving’s decision not to apologize, after Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted that Irving has “a lot of work to do,” and after the Nets suspended Irving for a minimum of five games saying that he is “currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.” 

CBS Sports columnist Bill Reiter calls the apology a good first step. While an act of contrition has been made, it remains to be seen how that will impact the open-ended suspension. Should the Nets (and NBA) feel that the current punishment is appropriate, Irving would miss games against the Wizards, Hornets, Mavericks, Knicks and Clippers, but, eligible to return to action on Sunday, Nov. 13, when the Nets face the Lakers in Los Angeles.

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