The Brooklyn Nets announced Kyrie Irving’s suspension Thursday, days after he tweeted a link to a documentary he criticized as anti-Semitic and defended his decision to do so.
in press release The team said on Twitter that it made repeated attempts to help Irving understand the harm and danger of his words and actions; This led him to release a film that contained disturbing anti-Semitism.
Irving was slammed last week by Nets owner Joe Tye and the NBA for tweeting a link to the 2018 movie “From Hebrews to Negroes: Awakening Black America,” based on Ronald Dalton’s book of the same name. It was condemned as anti-Semitic by civil rights groups.
The Nets said they were “shocked” on Thursday when Irving “refused to say that he has any anti-Semitic beliefs or that there is no specific hate in the film” during a media session.
“This was not the first time he had an opportunity – but failed – to make it clear,” the group said.
“Given a clear opportunity to deny anti-Semitism, such behavior is deeply disturbing, contrary to our company’s values, and damaging to the team. Accordingly, we are of the opinion that he is not eligible to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets at this time. We have determined that Kyrie will be suspended without pay until he completes a series of corrective measures to address the ongoing damage to his character and a suspension period of no less than five games.
During a press conference last Thursday, Irving was asked if he was apologizing after tweeting a link to the film, saying he didn’t mean to cause any offense.
“I didn’t mean to do any harm,” Irving replied. “I didn’t make the documentary.”
“I take full responsibility, I repeat, because I post something on my Instagram or Twitter, there may be some sad lies,” he said.
“I take responsibility for posting this,” Irving continued. “Some things in there that are suspicious, untrue.
“As I said before, you all asked me sitting on that stage. I don’t believe everything everyone posts. It’s a documentary. So I will take responsibility,” he said.
Asked if he held anti-Semitic beliefs, Irving said: “I respect all walks of life.” I accept all walks of life. That’s where I sat.
When pressed to say yes or no to the question, he replied, “If I know where I come from, I can’t be anti-Semitic.”
Responding to that response on Twitter, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League — “an organization dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of hate, justice and fair treatment for every individual” — said Irving “had a lot of work to do.” He said.
“The answer to the question ‘Do you have any anti-Semitic beliefs’ is always an unequivocal ‘no.’ We took @KyrieIrving at his word when he said he took responsibility, but he didn’t make that promise today, Jonathan Greenblatt said. He wrote on Thursday. “Obviously Kyrie has a lot of work to do.
That media appearance came after Irving and the Nets tweeted about the point guard’s documentary on Wednesday to donate $500,000 to anti-hate organizations.
In an earlier joint statement between Irving, the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League, the 30-year-old said he took “responsibility” for the “negative impact” he had on the Jewish community.
“I stand against all forms of hate and oppression and stand strong with marginalized and hurting communities every day,” Irving said.
“I am aware of the negative impact of my post on the Jewish community and take responsibility. I do not believe that everything said in the documentary is true or reflects my morals and principles.
“I am a person who learns from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen. Therefore, my family and I would never harm any group, race or religion and we only want to be a beacon of truth and light.”
Earlier this week, NBA analyst and Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said he thought the league “dropped the ball” on Irving and believed the player should have been suspended.
On Tuesday, when asked why Irving wasn’t disciplined for his actions, Nets general manager Shane Marks told reporters: “I think we’re having those conversations behind the scenes.
“I really don’t want to get into those right now. … It’s trying to really weigh what the best course of action is here.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he was “disappointed” with Irving after the guard did not apologize or condemn the “harmful content in the film he chose to make public.” Silver will meet with Irving next week, the commissioner said in a statement Thursday.
“Kyrie Irving made the reckless decision to post a link to a movie that contained deeply offensive anti-Semitic material,” Silver said.
“While we appreciate his agreement to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination, I am deeply disappointed by his failure to issue a undeserved apology and specifically condemn offensive and harmful content. It is included in the film he chooses to make public.
Irving was not available to the media on Monday or Tuesday following Nets games on those days.
The joint statement said the donation was made “to eradicate hatred and intolerance in our society”.
“This is an effort to develop educational programs that fully combat anti-Semitism and prejudice,” the statement said.
Greenblatt, with the Anti-Defamation League, said: “As anti-Semitism reaches historic levels, we know the best way to combat the most ancient hatred is to both confront it head-on and change hearts and minds.”
“Through this partnership, ADL will work with the Nets and Curry to open dialogue and increase awareness.
“At the same time, we remain vigilant and call out anti-Semitic attitudes and tropes — no matter who or where they come from — as we work toward a world free of hate.”
Kanye West, who has been criticized for making anti-Semitic comments on social media and in interviews, tweeted his support for Irving on Thursday with a picture of his bodyguard.
Yo, formerly known as Kanye West, has previously said that Jewish people have too much control over the business world.
“Bring death upon the Jewish people,” he threatened on Twitter. He also spoke about Ari Emanuel, the CEO of talent agency Endeavor, who openly referred to Jews as “business” people in a report on Instagram.
Last Friday, he told paparazzi that his mental health issues had been misdiagnosed by a Jewish doctor, referring to Jewish ownership of the media and comparing Planned Parenthood to the Holocaust.