The Brooklyn Nets suspended star player Kyrie Irving on Thursday as controversy grows over his tweet linking to an anti-Semitic film.
The nets said: that during a media appearance earlier in the day, Irving did not state that he has no anti-Semitic beliefs or acknowledge the content of the film.
“When given the opportunity in a media session today, we were stunned that Kyrie refused to state unequivocally that he has no anti-Semitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film,” the Nets said in a statement. “This wasn’t the first time he’s had the chance – but he failed – to clarify.”
The team said he would be suspended without payment for at least five games, and “until he complies with a set of objective corrective measures that address the harmful consequences of his behavior.”
Irving has been roundly criticized since last week, when he tweeted a link to the 2018 movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which is based on Ronald Dalton’s book of the same name.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday the film contains “highly offensive anti-Semitic material”.
Silver also said Irving’s statements since the outbreak of the controversy have fallen short.
“I am disappointed that he has not offered an unreserved apology and more specifically exposed the despicable and harmful content in the film that he chose to publish,” Silver said in part in a press release. pronunciation.
in a Instagram post Thursday night, Irving apologized.
“To all the Jewish families and communities who have been hurt and affected by my post, I am deeply sorry that I have hurt you and I apologize,” Irving wrote. “I initially reacted emotionally to being unfairly labeled as anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish brothers and sisters who were hurt by the hateful comments in the documentary.”
Earlier Thursday at media availability, Irving told reporters multiple times that he didn’t make the film and that some of the things in it weren’t true. He specified: “I think certainly some of the criticism of the Jewish faith and community. There were some points made there that were unfortunate.”
When asked if he held anti-Semitic beliefs, he said, “I respect all walks of life and embrace all walks of life. That’s where I sit.”
Irving insisted on yes or no, replying, “I can’t be anti-Semitic if I know where I’m from.”
The Nets said in Thursday’s statement that its answers were insufficient.
“Such a failure to reject anti-Semitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, goes against the values of our organization and constitutes behavior that is harmful to the team,” the team said. currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.”
Irving and the Nets announced Wednesday that they would each donate $500,000 to organizations and causes that fight hate and that they would partner with the Anti-Defamation League. Irving said in it: pronunciation that he meant no harm and that he is against all forms of hatred.
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said the organization will not accept Irving’s donation. He tweeted that the suspension was justified.
“We were optimistic, but after seeing the debacle of a press conference, it is clear that Kyrie feels no responsibility for his actions,” Greenblatt said. wrote. The ADL “cannot in good faith accept his donation,” he wrote.
In his Instagram post Thursday night, Irving said he should have done things differently.
He said he posted a movie “which contained some false anti-Semitic statements, stories and language that were untrue and offensive.”
Irving said he didn’t mean to perpetuate hatred. “I learn from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between all of us,” Irving wrote.
Irving joined the Nets in 2019. He will make about $37 million this season.
Irving played in just 29 games last season, largely because of his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19, in violation of city codes that mandated the shot at the time.