Kyrie Irving Takes Responsibility for Antisemitic Post; PG, Nets to Donate $500K Each

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 3, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 01: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on from the bench during the second quarter of the game against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center on November 01, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving and the Anti-Defamation League released a joint statement on Wednesday following Irving's social media posts containing a link to an antisemitic film last week.

The statement included a pledge by the Nets and Irving to donate $500,000 each to "causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities."

Howard Beck @HowardBeck

The Nets, Kyrie Irving and the Anti-Defamation League just issued this statement. Kyrie and the Nets will each donate $500,000 "toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities." <a href="https://t.co/fMCtankPwS">pic.twitter.com/fMCtankPwS</a>

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps

In the statement, Irving says “I take responsibility” for the negative impact of his Instagram post. He also said “I do not believe everything said in the documentary was true or reflects my morals and principles.”<br><br>The statement from Irving does not include an apology. <a href="https://t.co/XJojoxkvhe">https://t.co/XJojoxkvhe</a>

Irving provided a statement:

"I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day. I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility. I do not believe everything said in the documentary was true or reflects my morals and principles. I am a human being learning from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen. So from my family and I, we meant no harm to any one group, race or religion of people, and wish to only be a beacon of truth and light."

Irving shared a link to the 2018 film Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, a "purported documentary" that is "stuffed with antisemitic tropes," falsehoods and "ideas in line with more extreme factions of the Black Hebrew Israelites, which have a long history of misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and especially antisemitism," per Rolling Stone's Jon Blistein.

Pablo Torre @PabloTorre

So, to be extraordinarily clear here: the quote is (obviously!) fake. Hitler did NOT believe Black people are “The Jewels of God.” They spelled “Adolf” wrong. The citation itself is overflowing with brain-worms.<br><br>But this screenshot is *actually from the movie*. Which says a lot!

Pablo Torre @PabloTorre

P.S. This is from the book that the movie is based on. It's written by the same director, and it has the exact same title. He calls the fact that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust one of "five major falsehoods" (and blames "the Jewish controlled media"). Not subtle! <a href="https://t.co/1rorzaIaDl">pic.twitter.com/1rorzaIaDl</a>

Irving was not contrite when discussing his posts during a contentious postgame press conference Saturday.

"Did I do anything illegal? Did I hurt anybody, did I harm anybody? Am I going out and saying that I hate one specific group of people?" he said to reporters. "It's on Amazon, a public platform, whether you want to go watch it or not, is up to you. There's things being posted every day. I'm no different than the next human being, so don't treat me any different."

Nets governor Joe Tsai decried Irving's decision, however:

Joe Tsai @joetsai1999

This is bigger than basketball

And Irving wasn't made available to reporters after Monday's 108-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Tania Ganguli @taniaganguli

Sean Marks says Kyrie Irving won't be talking to media today: "We don't want to cause more fuss right now with more interaction with people."

Neither the Nets or the NBA have taken disciplinary action against Irving, which raised some eyebrows around the NBA community.

Sarah Todd @NBASarah

Perfect words from <a href="https://twitter.com/HowardBeck?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HowardBeck</a>: “COVID-19 is real, vaccines work, the Earth is round, and the Holocaust happened.<br>Refusal to accept these things doesn’t make Kyrie Irving brave or independent or a free thinker. It makes him Alex Jones with a jump shot” <a href="https://t.co/Q7csBSE3i8">https://t.co/Q7csBSE3i8</a>


“It hurts me sometimes when we have to sit up here and talk about stuff that divides the game.”<br><br>Shaq on Kyrie Irving <a href="https://t.co/r3haGIj0U9">pic.twitter.com/r3haGIj0U9</a>

Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz @LeBatardShow

"Kyrie Irving putting out very dangerous messages that thousands of people will follow and perhaps act upon is a genuine danger." – <a href="https://twitter.com/ChrisWittyngham?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ChrisWittyngham</a> <br><br>📺 <a href="https://t.co/5criV2cGWk">https://t.co/5criV2cGWk</a> <a href="https://t.co/ujEkNQkFH0">pic.twitter.com/ujEkNQkFH0</a>

Bruce Arthur @bruce_arthur

The Nets, by the way, haven't done a damned thing publicly about Kyrie Irving other than the owner gently chiding him. But they did fire the coach!

"I think he should have been suspended him," Charles Barkley said during Monday's Inside the NBA. "I think Adam [Silver] should have suspended him."


“I think he should have been suspended.”<br><br>Chuck reacts to Kyrie Irving’s social media posts promoting an antisemitic film <a href="https://t.co/IOLVVrSv0l">pic.twitter.com/IOLVVrSv0l</a>

"I think the NBA, they made a mistake," he added. "We've suspended people and fined people who have made homophobic slurs. And that was the right thing to do. If you insult the Black community, you should be suspended or fined heavily."