Irving Controversy Just Went To A Whole New Level

American basketball team, The Brooklyn Nets suspended Kyrie Irving for at least 5 games stating that he is “unfit to be associated” with the team due to the fact that he posted a link on his Twitter account promoting an antisemitic movie.

Irving, a guard for the Nets, also declined to say that he has no antisemitic views for over a week after the initial post including when asked specifically in interviews. 

A statement by the nets said, “Such failure to disavow antisemitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, is against the values of our organization, and constitutes conduct detrimental to the team.”

Irving had refused to apologize despite the fierce backlash, however, it was only much later after the Nets suspended him, did he relent in a post on Instagram.

“To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize,” Irving said.

The Nets stated that Irving would be suspended without pay for a minimum of five games “until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct.”

The film that Irving promoted is called, “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.” The antisemitic film claims that Jewish people are lying about their origins. Its false and outlandish claims about Jews include the belief that the Holocaust never happened.

When asked specifically about the film’s view on the Holocaust, Irving later stated, “Those falsehoods are unfortunate, and it’s not that I don’t believe in the Holocaust. I never said that. Never ever have said it. It’s not come out of my mouth. I never tweeted it. I never liked anything like it. So, the Holocaust in itself is an event that means something to a large group of people that suffered something that could have been avoided.”

In his apology, Irving said he “initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the Documentary.”

As reported by the New York Times,

In a statement released with the Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday, Irving and the Nets said they would each donate $500,000 to unspecified causes and organizations that combat hate in their communities. When asked Thursday if he had met with the Anti-Defamation League, Irving said he was told that the organization wanted a meeting and “we handled it.”

In another Instagram post, Irving apologized for “posting the documentary without context and a factual explanation outlining the specific beliefs in the Documentary I agreed with and disagreed with.”

Irving continued to say that he “had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate.”

Despite his apology, Irving spoke to reporters about whether he was surprised that his Twitter post hurt people. His response was, “I think I can ask a better question which is, where were you when I was a kid figuring out that 300 million of my ancestors are buried in America? Where were you guys asking those same questions when I was a kid learning about the traumatic events of my familial history and what I’m proud to come from? And why I’m proud to stand here?”

When Irving was asked if he had any antisemitic beliefs, he said he respected all walks of life, but said, “I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from,” Irving said when he was asked to answer the question with a “yes” or “no.”

Fans at a Nets game wore T-shirts that said “Fight Antisemitism.” Credit – Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports

Amidst the backlash of Irving’s comments, Nike has suspended its relationship with Irving, stating in an email to CNN Friday,

“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism. To that end, we’ve made the decision to suspend our relationship with Kyrie Irving effective immediately and will no longer launch the Kyrie 8. We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”

New York Times


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