Kyrie Irvingwho had been suspended this Thursday by the Brooklyn Nets for his refusal to apologize after promoting an anti-Semitic tape, finally apologized to the Jewish community tonight in a message posted at the last minute on his Instagram account.
“To all the Jewish families and communities that are hurt and affected by my publication, I am deeply sorry for causing you pain and I apologize.”, wrote. “I want to clear up any confusion about where I stand in the fight against anti-Semitism. I did not intend to disrespect Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or to perpetuate any hatred,” said the point guard, who admitted that the controversial documentary contained “false and anti-Semitic statements, narratives, and language” that were “offensive” to the Jews. Jews.
Irving’s backtracking comes after several days of constant verbal antics and evasiveness – including a final appearance before the media this Thursday – for not apologizing clearly and emphatically and hours after the Nets’ patience ran out and decided to suspend his employment and salary for a minimum of five games.
The New York franchise claimed they made “repeated attempts” to work with Irving so that he “understood the harm and danger of his words and actions, beginning with him advertising a film containing deeply disturbing anti-Semitic hatred.”
“We were dismayed that today, when given a media break, Kyrie refused to say unequivocally that he has no anti-Semitic beliefs and that he also failed to acknowledge the particularly hateful material in the film. This was not the first time that he had the opportunity – and he squandered it – to set it straight,” the team added.
The Nets assured that such behavior “goes against values” of the franchise and pointed out that Irving, at this time, is not in a position to be associated with the group. “We have decided that Kyrie will serve an unpaid suspension until he completes a series of objective and remedial measures that address the damaging impact of his conduct and the period of suspension will not be less than five games,” the Nets closed.
THE CONTEXT OF THE CONTROVERSY
Irving, who has had other controversies in the past such as his refusal to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, posted last week on his Twitter account, with 4.5 million followers, an Amazon link to the film. “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” (2018).
This film is based on a book of the same title published in 2015 that, according to Rolling Stone magazine, includes a multitude of anti-Semitic statements such as “many famous Jews” have “admitted” that they pray to “Satan or Lucifer”. In its Amazon description, the tape claims to “discover the true identity of the Children of Israel.”
Irving’s promotion of this film received harsh criticism from the Nets, the NBA, and the league’s players’ union. Last Saturday, Irving assured that “the anti-Semite label” that he is being given “does not reflect reality” and that he did not want to disrespect any religious faith.
However, the Nets player was confronted shortly after at a press conference with a journalist who asked him the reasons for that promotion. “Don’t dehumanize me. I am a human being, I can write what I want (on social networks), so say it and shut up so we can move on to the next question”he stated then.
On Wednesday, Irving and the Nets announced they would each donate half a million dollars to “causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and bigotry.” “I oppose all forms of hate and oppression,” he said. “I am aware of the negative impact my post had on the Jewish community and I take responsibility. I do not believe that everything that is said in the documentary is true or that it reflects my morals and principles (…). I did not mean to harm any group, race or religion,” he added.
However, the commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, this Thursday showed his disappointment to see that Irving had not apologized explicitly. “Kyrie Irving made the reckless decision to post a link (on Twitter) to a movie that contains deeply offensive and anti-Semitic material,” Silver said.
“While we appreciate the fact that he has agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination, I am disappointed that he has not offered an unconditional apology and, more specifically, that he has not called out the vile content. and damaging of the film that he chose to promote,” he added.
With information from EFE