The Brooklyn Nets announced Kyrie Irving was suspended after sharing an anti-Semitic Instagram post.
According to ESPN on Thursday (Nov. 3), the basketball player will sit out for at least five games without pay after his repeated refusal to say that he does not hold anti-Semitic beliefs. At a post-practice media session earlier Thursday, Irving refused to apologize, and the team subsequently said he is “currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.”
The NBA team released the following statement: “We were dismayed today when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no anti-Semitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film. This was not the first time he had the opportunity — but [has] 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.”
Irving later apologized on his Instagram for his social media post last week about a book and movie featuring hatred against Jewish people. He wrote: “To all Jewish families and communities that are hurt and affected [by] 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 [by] the hateful remarks made in the documentary.”
He continued, “I want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against anti-Semitism 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 [of] disrespecting any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuating any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all.”
Irving concluded the film “contained some false anti-Semitic statements, narratives, and language that were untrue and offensive to the Jewish race [and] religion, and I take full accountability and responsibility for my actions.”
Check out Irving’s Instagram apology down below: