Kyrie Iriving Suspended By The Nets Indefinitely After He Fails To Apologize For Antisemtitic Doc

Kyrie Irving was suspended indefinitely after he declined to apologize for sharing a link to an antisemitic documentary.

Kyrie Irving
View gallery
Image Credit: Phelan M Ebenhack/AP/Shutterstock

(UPDATE: 11/4/22 AT 8:32 P.M. ET): Following Kyrie’s suspension from the Brooklyn Nets, Nike officially released a statement announcing that they are no longer releasing the shoe they collaborated on with the athlete, per TMZ. “At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” the statement read. The company also made it clear that the Kyrie 8 basketball shoe will not be released and called the situation a disappointing one. “We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone,” the company added.

On Nov. 3, Kyrie took to Instagram to issue a formal apology to the Jewish community. “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 responsibly [sic] for my actions,” the caption of the black square image read. “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.”

He concluded his message by apologizing once more. “To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from [sic] my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize,” he added. “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.”

In addition, the Anti-Defamation League refused a $500K donation from Kyrie due to his anti-Semitic post, per TMZ. The CEO of the organization, Jonathan Greenblatt, released a statement on Twitter regarding the matter. “Although we will not accept any funds from him, if Kyrie is open to direct dialogue to repair the harm that he has caused and to engage in a process of healing and learning in a sincere manner, @ADL is open to engaging with him. Time and action will tell,” the statement read.

(UPDATE: 11/3/22 AT 8:45 P.M. ET): The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly suspended Kyrie after he refused to apologize for tweeting out a link to a film that featured antisemitic content. The organization released an official statement indicating that he would be suspended without pay for at least five games. Per Fox Sports, The team expressed their “dismay” at the NBA star’s refusal to “unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film. This was not the first time he had the opportunity — but failed — to clarify.”

The press release, which you can view HERE via Twitter, went on to state that his failure to “disavow antisemitism” is “deeply disturbing” and “against the values” of the organization. “We have determined that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct and the suspension period is no less than five games.”

(ORIGINAL STORY) NBA player Kyrie Irving is taking “full responsibility” for tweeting a link to Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America — a movie that is said to promote antisemitism — last week by teaming up with the Brooklyn Nets to help “eradicate hate” toward the Jewish community. The Brooklyn Nets star and his team announced on Nov. 2 that they will each donate $500,000 “toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities.” The statement, issued on the official NBA website, also claimed the 30-year-old basketball pro will “work with ADL (the Anti-Defamation League), a nonprofit organization devoted to fighting antisemitism and all types of hate that undermine justice and fair treatment for every individual.”

In a personal statement along with the announcement, Kyrie said he opposes “all forms of hatred and oppression and [stands] strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day.” He continued, “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.”

Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving has expressed his regret for tweeting a link to a movie that has antisemitic undertones (Photo: Phelan M Ebenhack/AP/Shutterstock)

Kyrie originally tweeted the link on Oct. 27, and prompted the Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai to condemn his action. “I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity or religion,” Tsai tweeted on Friday, Oct. 28. “This is bigger than basketball.”

The NBA also issued a statement against hate speech on Friday. “Hate speech of any kind is unacceptable and runs counter to the NBA’s values of equality, inclusion and respect,” a statement on its website read. “We believe we all have a role to play in ensuring such words or ideas, including antisemitic ones, are challenged and refuted and we will continue working with all members of the NBA community to ensure that everyone understands the impact of their words and actions.”

The following day, Kyrie appeared agitated after a reporter asked him about tweeting the link and equated the question to dehumanizing him, as seen in the press conference clip shared below. He also claimed that tweeting something doesn’t necessarily mean he’s promoting it when asked about an article by the far-right radio host Alex Jones to which he shared a link.

That same day, Kyrie declared that he is not antisemitic and supports all religions. “I am an OMNIST and I meant no disrespect to anyone’s religious beliefs,” he wrote. “The “Anti-Semitic” label that is being pushed on me is not justified and does not reflect the reality or truth I live in everyday. I embrace and want to learn from all walks of life and religions.”

More From Our Partners