At the end of a long day of controversy, including a suspension for Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets superstar guard issued an apology to “All Jewish families and Communities” and condemned Hebrews to Negroes, the antisemitic video he promoted in a tweet and Instagram post a week ago.
He also said the video, which has rocketed up Amazon charts since he publicized it, “contained some false anti-Semitic statements, narratives, and language that were untrue and offensive to the Jewish Race/Religion.”
Irving posted his statement on Instagram just before midnight Thursday...
The post appeared to satisfy two deficiencies that Adam Silver mentioned in his statement on Irving earlier in the day and the Nets referred to their rationalization for his suspension for at least five games and perhaps longer: an apology and a condemnation.
Irving however will have to complete “remedial” action before returning, Sean Marks told media Friday.
Previously, in announcing an agreement among Irving, the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League, Irving said only that takes ‘responsibility’ for the ‘negative impact’ generated by his tweet.
In his statement, Silver said that he was “disappointed” in that Irving had neither offered a “non-qualified apology” nor “denounced the vile and hateful content contained in the film he chose to publicize.” Silver also said he plans to meet with the Nets guard “in person in the next week.”
The Nets said Irving needed to “serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct.”
Irving did not explain why he decided to change his mind after doubling down at the Nets shootaround, where he did not apologize, did not condemn the video and attempted to deflect responsibility, pointing out that he did not produce the video.
There’s no indication that the five-game suspension will be lifted or modified. The Irving statement came just four hours after the notice of suspension was posted on the Nets' social media.
The apology came at the end of a 30-hour drama that saw an agreement among Kyrie Irving, the Nets and the Anti-Defamation league to combat hate following his promotion of the antisemitic material; the corresponding message from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver condemning Irving for not apologizing; Irving doubling down during a six-minute media scrum and the suspension.
The Nets, without Irving, will play the Wizards Friday night in Washington.
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