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Kyrie Irving says he takes ‘responsibility’ for ‘negative impact’ of controversial tweet

FILE – Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving handles the ball during an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, in this Thursday, May 6, 2021, file photo. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving this week said he takes “full responsibility” for the “negative impact” of a tweet he posted with a link to an antisemitic film.

“I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” Irving said in a joint statement along with his team and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Wednesday night. “I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility.

Irving, a seven-time NBA All-Star, along with his team will donate $500,000 toward causes and organizations in an effort to end hate and intolerance toward Jewish communities, working with the ADL on the initiative as well.

Irving, who has received media attention and criticism in the past for his resistance to getting the COVID-19 vaccine and stance against vaccine mandates, initially denied that he’s antisemitic and doubled down on his support of the film, but now says he doesn’t believe everything said in the film reflects his true beliefs. 

“I do not believe everything said in the documentary was true or reflects my morals and principles. I am a human being learning from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen,” Irving added in his joint statement. “So from my family and I, we meant no harm to any one group, race or religion of people, and wish to only be a beacon of truth and light.”

Irving’s remarks come as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement of his own on Thursday, condemning Irving’s “reckless decision” to share a film with antisemitic material and adding that he plans to meet with the star player next week to discuss the matter. 

“Kyrie Irving made a reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive antisemitic material. While we appreciate the fact that he agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to combat antisemitism and other forms of discrimination, I am disappointed that he has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize,” Silver said in his statement. “I will be meeting with Kyrie in person in the next week to discuss this situation.”

Nets owner Joe Tsai and basketball Hall of Famer and Turner Sports analyst Charles Barkley, among others, have also publicly criticized Irving for sharing the link. 

During an appearance on CNN’s “At This Hour,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said he doesn’t think Irving has apologized for his initial stance on the issue but is pleased with Irving and his team’s commitment to combat the issue.

Tags Adam Silver Anti-Defamation League Antisemitism in the United States Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving Kyrie Irving NBA
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