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Kyrie Irving Backtracks & Apologizes To Jewish Community After Brooklyn Nets SUSPEND Him Over Reckless Anti-Semitic Posts

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Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is backtracking and apologizing after his team suspended him for five games without pay for reckless anti-Semitic posts and conspiracy theories. Here’s the latest…

NBA player Kyrie Irving has switched up his tune after the Brooklyn Nets issued a suspension.

The Brooklyn Nets have suspended Kyrie Irving for at least five games without pay. It seems the decision came after his repeated failure to “unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs.” The suspension comes after the 30-year-old athlete shared the link to a 2018 documentary titled, “Hebrews to Negros: Wake Up Black America,” that features anti-Semitic tropes.

The Nets guard refused to apologize to reporters earlier on Thursday at the National Basketball Association (NBA) team's training facility, prompting the Nets to declare him "currently unfit to be associated with" the team.

Due to his unwillingness to apologize, the Brooklyn Nets released a statement:

”Over the last several days, we have made repeated attempts to work with Kyrie Irving to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, which began with him publicizing a film containing deeply disturbing antisemitic hate. We believed that taking the path of education in this challenging situation would be the right one and though that we had made progress with our joint commitment to eradicating hate and intolerance.”

“We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused 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 Nets said in a statement.

“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. Accordingly, we are of the view that he is currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.”

”We have decided 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 served is no less than five games."

Four hours after the Nets announced his suspension, Kyrie issued an apology, which many, including NBA commissioner Adam Silver, had hoped for sooner.

 

”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,” he wrote. I 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. I want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against Anti- semticism by apologizing for posting the documentary without context and a factual explanation outlining the specific beliefs in the Documentary I agreed with and disagreed with. I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all."

”I am no different than any other human begin. I am a seeker of truth and knowledge, and I know who i Am,” he concluded.

So here’s what happened leading up the suspension…

After posting the link to the documentary, Kyrie was asked about it during a press conference Saturday night (Oct. 29th) where he doubled down on his support of the film as well as his belief of a “New World Order” conspiracy theory about secret societies are working to enslave the human population by releasing viruses.

Watch his back-and-forth with ESPN reporter Nick Friedell for questioning the offensive posts:

”I’m in a unique position to have a level of influence on my community and what I post does not mean that I support everything that’s being said or anything that’s being done, or I’m campaigning for anything,” Irving said following the Brooklyn Nets Saturday night loss to the Indiana Pacers. “All I do is post things for my people and my community and those that it’s actually going to impact. Anyone else that has criticism, it obviously wasn’t meant for them.”

“We’re in 2022. It’s on Amazon, public platform,” Kyrie said about the film. “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. You come in here and make up this powerful influence that I have over the top [and say], ‘You cannot post that.’ Why not? Why not? Everybody posts everything else.”

Peep the clip above.

After the press conference, he tweeted:

"I am an OMNIST and I meant no disrespect to anyone’s religious beliefs," he tweeted. "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."

After he posted the link, Kyrie was condemned by former NBA player Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Nets broadcaster Richard Jefferson, and team owner Joe Tsai, but he didn’t care. He stood on what he said in a separate interview days later.

For the second time since promoting the film "Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America," Kyrie was asked whether he had anti-Semitic beliefs, and he didn't say "no" or apologize. He took responsibility for the tweet, but he refused to apologize to the Jewish community.

”I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from," Kyrie said.

Watch the clips above and below:

Kanye West, who is also embroiled in anti-Semitic drama - took to Twitter to show Kyrie support:

 

On Twitter, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt responded to Kyrie’s response, writing, "The answer to the question 'Do you have any antisemitic beliefs?' is always "NO" without equivocation."

”We took @KyrieIrving at his word when he said he accepted responsibility, but today he failed to deliver on that promise," Jonathan tweeted. “Kyrie clearly has a lot of work ahead of him."

A day before Kyrie’s second interview, the Nets guard and the Nets announced they would each donate $500,000 to help “promote education” and combat hate speech by donating to causes and organizations that work to fight hate speech in collaboration with the ADL.

The ADL CEO praised the Nets for suspending Kyrie on Twitter following the announcement:

Jonathan Greenblatt also revealed the ADL will NOT accept the funds from Kyrie, but said they’re open to having a conversation with him:

We'll have to wait and see if Kyrie takes them up on that offer.

Kyrie Irving has been released by the Nets for the second consecutive season. It was last year when he refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, rendering him ineligible to play at home. In December 2021, they brought him back to play road games. When New York City's vaccine mandate for athletes and performers was lifted in March 2022, he was able to return in full.

Photo: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File

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