Brooklyn Nets guard, Kyrie Irving has been suspended for at least five games for “publicizing a film containing deeply disturbing antisemitic hate,” the organization said in a statement.
Irving is “currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets,” as it has made several attempts in the last few days to help Irving understand the harmful impacts of his words and actions through a joint committee, the Nets said.
The suspension, without pay, is for a minimum of five games and will be lifted once he “satisfies a series of objective remedial measures …” the team said.
The Nets statement read: ‘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.’
‘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.
‘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.’
Earlier in the day, when asked at a press conference if he has antisemitic beliefs, Irving said, “I told you guys how I felt. I respect all walks of life and embrace all walks of life. That’s where I sit. I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from.”
Irving later issued an apology via Instagram a few hours after the team’s announcement.
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.
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. I am no different than any other human being.
I am a seeker of truth and knowledge, and I know who I Am.
Irving was condemned last week by, among others, Nets owner Joe Tsai and the NBA for tweeting a link to the 2018 movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which is based on Ronald Dalton’s book of the same name and has been blasted as being antisemitic by civil rights groups.