Kyrie Irving Apologizes for Promotion of Antisemitic Documentary After Suspension

Kyrie Irving Apologizes for Promotion of Antisemitic Documentary After Suspension

Earlier this week amid rising threats to synagogues and antisemitic protests, Kyrie Irving promoted the film Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The film contains antisemitic sentiments and his endorsement of it was met with immediate backlash. In the face of outcry from members of the Jewish community and allies alike, Irving did not back down, refusing to acknowledge the hateful content of the documentary.

The Brooklyn Nets intervened, suspending Irving for five games without pay because of his refusal to “unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material.”

Shortly after, Irving apologized. Issuing an Instagram apology with a picture of a black square and a caption that reads: “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.”

The post goes on to apologize to Jewish families and communities impacted by his posts throughout the week and hoped to clarify “any confusion on where I stand fighting against anti-semiticism.”

The Nets were not convinced of Irving's commitment to the fight against antisemitism. General Manager Sean Marks shared that Irving will also have to meet with Jewish leaders and the rest of the team before he returns to the court.

“There is going to be some remedial steps and measures that have been put in place for him to, obviously, seek some counseling designated by the team,” Marks said. “We’ll evaluate and see if this is the right opportunity to bring him back.”

Photo courtesy of Matteo Prandoni/BFA