Kyrie Irving has finally issued the long-overdue apology that the NBA hoped he would have done before resorting to suspension.
Hours after word came down the pipeline that the NBA was suspending Irving for five games, the basketball star finally issued a mea culpa of sorts.
Irving took to Instagram to write, “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 for my actions. 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 continued, “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. 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.”
Irving added that the movie “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 for my actions.”
UPDATE 11/3/2022 8:30PM
Kyrie Irving has been suspended from the Nets “indefinitely” and without pay Thursday evening.
This comes after a press conference earlier today where Irving was given the opportunity again to apologize for pushing antisemitic content on social media, and he failed to do so. In fact, he further defended himself, refusing to answer whether or not he holds antisemitic beliefs.
The suspension will last at least five games.
The Nets have released a statement which reads in part, “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 actions, which began with him publicizing a film containing deeply disturbing anti-Semitic hate. We believed that taking the path of education in this challenging situation would be the right one and thought that we had made progress with our joint commitment to eradicating hate and intolerance.”
The statement continues, “We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he had no anti-Semitic beliefs. This was not the first time he had the opportunity – but failed – to clarify. Such failure to disavow anti-Semitism 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.”
It concludes, “Accordingly, we have decided 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 is no less than five games.”
Original story continues below:
Kyrie Irving still hasn’t quite apologized for posting about a book and movie that push antisemitic tropes.
Irving has said something – but it’s definitely not the apology fans and the NBA is hoping to hear. Minutes before Irving did not apologize, NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement that read in part that he was “disappointed” that Irving “Has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize.”
“I take my responsibility for posting that,” Irving said in his first public comments since he appeared in a contentious news conference on Saturday (where he said, “I didn’t mean to cause any harm. I’m not the one that made the documentary”).
Today, Irving added, “Some things that were questionable in there, untrue. Like I said the first time you guys asked me when I was sitting on that stage, I don’t believe everything that everybody posts – it’s a documentary. So I take my responsibility.”
Irving has repeatedly declined to address whether or not he holds antisemitic beliefs, but actions speak louder than words at this point. And his continued desire to deflect and avoid apologizing speaks volumes.