Kyrie Irving said Wednesday he opposes all forms of hate, and he and the Brooklyn Nets will each donate $500,000 to groups working to eradicate it.
Irving has taken responsibility for the negative impact on the Jewish community that has been caused by his appearance of support for anti-Semitic work, as the Nets and their star guard have worked to quell the anger directed at them since the publication of ‘Irving on Twitter and his refusal to apologize for it.
“I stand against all forms of hate and oppression and stand firm with communities who are marginalized and impacted every day,” Irving said in a joint statement with the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League. “I am aware of the negative impact of my position on the Jewish community and I take responsibility for it.”
Irving had drawn criticism in the NBA — including from Nets owner Joe Tsai — for posting a link to the film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on his Twitter feed last week.
“I don’t believe anything said in the documentary is true or reflects my morals and principles,” Irving said. “I am a human being who learns from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen.”
Irving hadn’t spoken since Saturday, when he defiantly defended his right to publish information he believes. He hasn’t spoken to reporters after either Nets home game since – one featuring fans wearing ‘Fight Antisemitism’ shirts as they sat side by side ground.
“There is no place for anti-Semitism, racism, false narratives or misguided attempts to create animosity and hatred,” said Sam Zussman, CEO of BSE Global, parent company of the Brooklyns. Nets and Barclays Center. “Now more than ever there is an urgent need to provide education in these areas. We put our previous statements into practice because actions speak louder than words. »
Irving and the Nets will work with the ADL to develop inclusive educational programs to combat all forms of bigotry and anti-Semitism.
General manager Sean Marks said Tuesday the Nets have been in discussions with the ADL about the proper way to respond to the fallout involving Irving, who has not been punished by either the team or the NBA.
“At a time when anti-Semitism has reached historic levels, we know that the best way to combat the oldest hatred is both to confront it head-on and also to change hearts and minds,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
The Nets added that they and the WNBA’s New York Liberty would host a series of community conversations at Barclays Center in partnership with the ADL and other national civil rights organizations and local community associations.
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