Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving He was asked on Thursday if he apologized when he said he meant no offense after tweeting a link to the 2018 film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.”
“I meant no harm,” Irving replied. “I’m not the one who made the documentary.”
Irving was condemned last week by, among others, Nets owner Joe Tsai and the NBA for tweeting a link to the film, which is based on Ronald Dalton’s book of the same name and has been called anti-Semitic by civil rights groups.
During a media availability on Thursday, Irving said: “I take full responsibility, again, I repeat, for posting something on my Instagram or Twitter that may have contained unfortunate lies.
“I take my responsibility to post this,” Irving continued. “Some things that were questionable in there, wrong.
“As I said the first time you all asked me while I was sitting on this stage. I don’t believe everything that everyone posts. This is a documentary. So I take my responsibility.
When asked if he had anti-Semitic beliefs, Irving replied, “I respect all walks of life. I embrace all walks of life. This is where I sit.
When asked to answer yes or no to the question, he replied, “I can’t be an anti-Semite if I know where I’m from.”
Irving’s media appearance came after he and the Brooklyn Nets announced Wednesday that they would both donate $500,000 to anti-hate organizations after the point guard tweeted the documentary.
In a joint statement between Irving, Nets and the Anti-Defamation League – a “nonprofit organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism and all types of hate that undermine justice and fair treatment for every individual” – the 30-year-old said he takes “responsibility” for the “negative impact” his message has had on the Jewish community.
“I stand against all forms of hate and oppression and stand firm with communities who are marginalized and impacted every day,” Irving said.
“I am aware of the negative impact of my position on the Jewish community and take responsibility for it. I do not believe that everything said in the documentary is true or reflects my morals and principles.
“I am a human being who learns from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen. So from my family and I, we didn’t want to hurt any group , race or religion of people, and only wish 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 was “dropping the ball” on Irving and that he thought the player should have be suspended.
When asked why Irving hadn’t been disciplined for his actions on Tuesday, Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters, “I think we’re having these discussions behind the scenes.
“Honestly, I don’t really want to get into those right now. …Really just trying to weigh up exactly what the best course of action is here.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he was ‘disappointed’ in Irving after the guard failed to issue an apology or speak out against the ‘prejudicial content contained in the film he chose to publicize’ . Silver will meet with Irving next week, the commissioner said in a statement Thursday.
“Kyrie Irving has made the reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive anti-Semitic material,” Silver said.
“While we appreciate that he has agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to fight anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination, I am disappointed that he has not featured unreserved apologies and more specifically denounced the despicable and harmful content contained in the film he has chosen to publicize.
Irving was not made available to the media on Monday or Tuesday following Nets games on those days.
The joint statement said the donations were made to “eradicate hatred and intolerance in our communities”.
“This is an effort to develop educational programming that is inclusive and will comprehensively combat all forms of anti-Semitism and bigotry,” the statement said.
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said: “At a time when anti-Semitism has reached historic levels, we know that the best way to combat the oldest hatred is to both confront it head on and also to change hearts and minds.
“With this partnership, ADL will work with the Nets and Kyrie to open up dialogue and increase understanding.
“At the same time, we will maintain our vigilance and call for the use of anti-Jewish stereotypes and tropes – regardless of source, no matter what – as we work towards a world without hate. .”
Kanye Westwho has come under fire over anti-Semitic remarks on social media and in interviews, showed his support for Irving, tweeting a photo of the guard on Thursday.
Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has previously said Jews have too much control over the business world.
He threatened in a Twitter post of “Go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE”. He also raved in an Instagram post about Ari Emanuel, CEO of talent agency Endeavour, referring to “businessmen” when he was clearly talking about Jews.
Last Friday, he told paparazzi his mental health issues were misdiagnosed by a Jewish doctor, referenced Jewish ownership of the media and compared Planned Parenthood to the Holocaust.