Kyrie Irving‘s not escaping his antisemitic controversy as easily as he thought.
Despite releasing a statement and addressing it in several press conferences, he failed to apologize outright, and now the NBA is making sure its stance is firm. Irving has been suspended from suiting up for the Brooklyn Nets for at least five games without pay.
“We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film,” the Nets said in a statement. “This was not the first time he had the opportunity — but failed — to clarify.”
The Nets made it clear just hours after NBA commissioner Adam Silver also released a statement that while admitting there was harmful rhetoric in the movie that Irving promoted, he didn’t explicitly apologize.
“I am disappointed that he has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize,” Silver said in part in a statement that also mentioned he’d be meeting with Irving.
After getting suspended, Irving finally took to Instagram to fully say that he was sorry for the hurt he’s inflicted on the Jewish community.
“To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from 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 from the hateful remarks made in the Documentary,” he said in the caption attached to a black square. “I want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against Anti- semticism 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.”
Kyrie was also set to donate $500,000 –to be matched by the Nets for a total of $1M– to the Anti-Defamation League, but his initial failure to offer an apology caused the organization to turn down the money, tweeting, “ADL cannot in good conscience accept his donation.”
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