Nets' Kyrie Irving takes 'responsibility' for promoting anti-Semitic movie, donates $500K

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (R) tweeted a link last week on Twitter to an anti-Semitic film. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (R) tweeted a link last week on Twitter to an anti-Semitic film. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Kyrie Irving said he takes "responsibility" for a Twitter post's "negative impact" on the Jewish community, he opposes "hatred" and donated $500,000 after he promoted an anti-Semitic film on the social media platform.

The NBA star, the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League released a joint statement Wednesday to address the situation.


Irving's decision to post a link to the film last week on Twitter has been met with widespread criticism and an NBA statement, which said anti-Semitic words or ideas should be "challenged and refuted." The Nets also said last week that they have "no tolerance for the promotion of any form of hate speech."

Irving tweeted the link to the film Thursday and defended his decision to tweet the link Saturday at a news conference. He deleted the tweet Sunday. A group of Jewish fans also sat court-side, while wearing "fight anti-Semitism" shirts, at a Nets game Sunday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.


"I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day," Irving said Wednesday in the joint statement. "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."

The joint statement said that the $1.5 million joint donation will go toward "causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities." Irving and the Nets also plan to work with the Anti-Defamation League.

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The statement also said that the events of last week "sparked many emotions" in the Nets organization, the Brooklyn community and around the country.

"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," the statement said. "We are ready to take on this challenge and we recognize that this is a unique moment to make a lasting impact."


The Nets, New York Liberty and organizations affiliated with the teams also plan to host a series of community conversations at Barclays Center in response to the matter.

"There is no room for anti-Semitism, racism, false narratives or misguided attempts to create animosity and hate," said Sam Zussman, CEO of BSE Global, the parent company of the 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."

Irving scored four points in 33 minutes in the Nets' 108-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday in Brooklyn. The Nets will face the Washington Wizards at 7 p.m. EDT Friday at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

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