BROOKLYN — The events of the past week have sparked many emotions within the Nets organization, our Brooklyn community, and the nation. The public discourse that followed has raised awareness of the challenges we face as a society in combating hate and hate speech. We are ready to take on this challenge and we recognize this is a unique moment to make a lasting impact.
To advance education in our community, Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets will each donate $500,000 to causes and organizations dedicated to eliminating hate and intolerance in our communities. The Nets and Kyrie Irving will work with ADL (the Anti-Defamation League), a non-profit organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred that undermine the justice and fair treatment of everyone. This is an attempt to develop an inclusive education program that comprehensively combats all forms of anti-Semitism and bigotry.
“I reject all forms of hatred and oppression and I am a strong advocate for communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” said Kyrie Irving. “I am aware of the negative impact my office has on the Jewish community and I accept responsibility. I do not believe that everything said in the documentary is true or reflects my morals and principles. I am a learner from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen. So my family and I do not want to harm any group, race or religion of people and just want to be a beacon of truth and light.”
“There is no place for anti-Semitism, racism, false narratives or misguided attempts to incite hostility and hatred,” said Sam Zussman, chief executive officer of BSE Global, parent company of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. “Now more than ever there is an urgent need to ensure education in these areas. We are putting our previous statements into practice, because actions speak louder than words.”
“At a time when anti-Semitism has reached historic proportions, we know that the best way to combat the oldest hatred is to confront it head-on as well as to change hearts and minds. With this partnership, ADL will work with the Nets and Kyrie to open up dialogue and increase understanding,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of ADL. “At the same time, we will maintain our vigilance and call for the use of anti-Jewish stereotypes and tropes – whatever, whoever, or wherever the source is – as we work towards a world without hate.”
As in years past, the Brooklyn Nets will continue to support and participate in Shine A Light, an ongoing initiative dedicated to highlighting modern antisemitism.
In addition, the Brooklyn Nets, New York Liberty and organizations associated with the teams will host a series of community talks to make a sustained and meaningful impact in raising awareness and education about the important issues of hate based on race, ethnicity and Religion Barclays Center in Brooklyn, in partnership with ADL and other national civil rights organizations and local community organizations.