NBA | Kyrie Irving issues Instagram apology
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Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving issued an apology late Thursday night for his conduct. This happened a week after supporting a movie with antisemitic tropes on his social media accounts. This came after days of requests for him to retract his comments and denounce the movie’s content.
On October 27, Irving, 30, promoted the antisemitic movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America!” on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. Irving then spent the majority of the next week refusing to accept how vile and divisive the film’s content was.
That changed late on Thursday night when Irving posted a public apology on Instagram. The apology is reproduced in full below, hours after the Brooklyn Nets suspended him for at least five games without pay.
Kyrie Irving’s apology
“I posted a documentary while doing research on YHWH that included some inaccurate anti-Semitic narratives, sentiments, and language that were insulting to the Jewish race and religion. I fully accept responsibility for my actions. I’m appreciative of the large platform I have to impart knowledge. Moreover, I want to move forward by engaging in an honest conversation to learn more and develop from this.
I sincerely regret having caused you anguish and extend my sincere condolences to any Jewish families and communities who have been harmed and touched by my comments. I originally responded emotionally to being falsely accused of being anti-Semitic rather than concentrating on helping my Jewish brothers and sisters who were wounded by the horrible comments aired in the documentary. By apologizing for sharing the documentary without context and providing a factual explanation describing the particular points in the documentary I agreed with and disagreed with, I wish to clear up any misunderstanding about where I stand in the battle against anti-Semitism.
I didn’t mean to offend anyone or spread any hate by disrespecting Jewish cultural history in relation to the Holocaust. I’m taking lessons from this tragic incident and hoping we can all come to an agreement. I am the same as every other human being. I am a seeker of knowledge and truth, and I am aware of who I am.”
The apology came after Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted that Irving has “a lot of work to do.” This happened after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he was “disappointed” in Irving’s decision not to apologize, and after the Brooklyn Nets suspended Irving for at least five games because they felt he was “currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.”
Finally, according to CBS Sports analyst Bill Reiter, the apology is a decent starting step. Although an act of repentance has been done, it is unclear how this will affect the long-term suspension. Irving would be suspended from games against the Wizards, Hornets, Mavericks, Knicks, and Clippers if the Nets (and NBA) felt that the existing punishment was acceptable. Irving would be able to play again on Sunday, Nov. 13, when the Nets take on the Lakers in Los Angeles.
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