In a joint statement issued early Wednesday evening, the Nets, Kyrie Irving and the Anti-Defamation League, Irving said he “takes responsibility” for the “negative impact” caused by his promotion of an antisemitic video last Thursday.
A number of media have noted that Irving never actually apologizes to anyone, rather “takes responsibility.”
He and the Nets also agreed to pay $1 million, half from the player and half from the team, to combat hate through “causes and organizations.” The ADL will work with the Nets and Irving on the program.
Here’s the full statement:
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 brought greater awareness to the challenges we face as a society when it comes to combating hate and hate speech. We are ready to take on this challenge and we recognize that this is a unique moment to make a lasting impact.
To promote education within our community, Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets will each donate $500,000 toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities. The Nets and Kyrie Irving will work with ADL (the Anti-Defamation League), a nonprofit organization devoted to fighting antisemitism and all types of hate that undermine justice and fair treatment for every individual. This is an effort to develop educational programming that is inclusive and will comprehensively combat all forms of antisemitism and bigotry.
“I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” said Kyrie Irving. “I am aware of the negative impact of my post towards the Jewish community and I take responsibility. I do not believe everything said in the documentary was true or reflects my morals and principles. I am a human being learning 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 meant no harm to any one group, race or religion of people, and wish to only be a beacon of truth and light.”
“There is no room for antisemitism, racism, false narratives or misguided attempts to create animosity and hate,” said Sam Zussman, Chief Executive Officer of BSE Global, parent company of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. “Now, more than ever, there is a pressing need to ensure education in these areas. We are putting our prior statements into practice because actions speak louder than words.”
“At a time when antisemitism has reached historic levels, we know the best way to fight 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 dialogue and increase understanding,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “At the same time, we will maintain our vigilance and call out the use of anti-Jewish stereotypes and tropes – whatever, whoever, or wherever the source – as we work toward a world without hate.”
As in past years, the Brooklyn Nets will continue to support and participate in Shine A Light, an ongoing initiative dedicated to spotlighting modern day antisemitism.
Additionally, to ensure a sustainable and meaningful impact in driving awareness and education on the important topics of hatred based on race, ethnicity, and religion, the Brooklyn Nets, New York Liberty and the teams’ affiliated organizations will host a series of community conversations at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, in partnership with ADL and other national civil rights organizations as well as local community associations.
The Nets superstar disappointed and angered many Nets fans — as well as others across the NBA landscape and beyond — with his promotion of Hebrews to Negroes, a four-year-old antisemitic video and a seven-year-old book on which the video is based. Then, on Saturday night, in a combative post-game media availability, Irving appeared to double down, refusing to remove the offending tweet. He ultimately removed it on Sunday night, which former Nets coach Steve Nash said was “helpful.”
Joe Tsai engaged the ADL in a conciliatory attempt to help resolve the issue. Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the group, is friends with Tsai and Greenblatt sits on the board The Asian-American Foundation which Tsai helped found and fund.
Earlier Wednesday, Stefan Bondy and George Lewis reported that as of Tuesday, Irving had not yet met with the ADL but had sent a proxy. Bondy said Shetellia Riley Irving, his agent and stepmother, as well as his father, Drederick Irving, were the proxies.
Overnight, others accused of antisemitism rallied around Irving. Kanye West, aka Ye, posted this...
And Nick Fuentes, the noted white supremacist and white nationalist, called the money paid by Irving as “ransom” to the “Jewish World Order.”
For longtime New York sportscaster Russ Salzberg, enough is enough. In a podcast carried on the YES App, Salzberg said the Nets have to somehow get rid of Irving.
“If you’re a Brooklyn Nets fan and you think this is going away you are sadly mistaken,” said Salzberg. “Kyrie is eligible for a five-year extension for 200 million dollars. To anyone who “There’s a sucker born every second.
“I would rather lose without Kyrie Irving than win with him,” Salzberg continued. “How has nobody ‘dropped a hammer’ on Kyrie Irving and antisemitism?”
- Kyrie Irving joins Nets, ADL in $1.5M pledge to fight hate: ‘I take responsibility’ - Ethan Sears - New York Post
- Irving takes responsibility for tweet, will donate $500,000 - Brian Mahoney - AP
- Kyrie Irving: ‘I take responsibility’ for post’s impact on Jewish community - Nick Friedell - ESPN
- Nets star Kyrie Irving takes responsibility for harm caused by link to antisemitic movie - Barbara Barker - Newsday
- Kyrie Irving, Nets to donate $500K each to causes, organizations that ‘eradicate hate and intolerance’ - The Athletic
- Kyrie Irving and Nets to donate $500,000 each to anti-hate groups following guard’s antisemitic posts - Filfi Frimpong - New York Daily News
- Kyrie Irving takes ‘responsibility’ for Tweet on anti-Semitic film, but doesn’t issue an apology - Adam Zagoria - NJ.com
- Kyrie Irving, Nets issue joint statement with Anti-Defamation League, pledge donation to ‘eradicate hate’ - Sam Quinn - CBS Sports