Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets announced Wednesday they will both be donating $500,000 to anti-hate organizations after the point guard tweeted a documentary it labeled anti-Semitic last week.
In a joint statement by Irving, Nets and 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 every individual” – the 30-year-old said , he takes “responsibility” for the “negative impact” his post had on the Jewish community.
“I reject all forms of hatred and oppression and I am a strong advocate for communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” Irving said.
“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.”
Irving was condemned last week by Nets owner Joe Tsai and the NBA, among others, for tweeting a link to the 2018 film Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.
The film is based on Ronald Dalton’s book of the same name, which has been criticized as anti-Semitic by civil rights groups.
Earlier this week, NBA analyst and Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said he thinks the league “dropped the ball” on Irving and that he believes Irving should have been suspended.
When asked why Irving wasn’t punished for his actions, Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters Tuesday, “I think we’re having these discussions behind the scenes.
“I honestly don’t really want to get into that right now. … I’m really just trying to weigh up exactly what’s the best course of action here.”
Irving was not made available to media Monday or Tuesday after Nets games on those days.
The joint statement said the donations were made to “eliminate hatred and intolerance in our communities.”
“This is an attempt to develop an inclusive education program that comprehensively combats all forms of anti-Semitism and bigotry,” the statement said.
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said: “At a time when antisemitism has reached historic proportions, we know that the best way to combat the oldest hatred is to confront it head-on, and also changing 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 – whatever, whoever, or wherever the source is – as we work towards a world without hate.”
Kanye West, who has faced criticism after anti-Semitic remarks on social media and in interviews, showed his support for Irving by tweeting a picture of the guard on Thursday.
Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has previously said that Jews have too much control over the business world.
He threatened to “go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE” in a Twitter post. He also railed against Ari Emanuel, CEO of talent agency Endeavor, in an Instagram post, referring to “businessmen,” though he clearly meant Jews.
Last Friday he told paparazzi that his mental health problems had been misdiagnosed by a Jewish doctor, citing Jewish ownership of media and likening planned parenthood to the Holocaust.