Kyrie Irving's tweet highlights anti-Semitic sentiment in US

Professional basketballer stops short of apology while FBI warns of 'credible' anti-Semitic threat in New Jersey

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets looks on from the bench at the Barclays Centre on Tuesday in New York City.  AFP
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Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving said on Thursday that he meant no harm in posting a link to an anti-Semitic documentary on social media.

But Irving stopped short of offering the formal apology that National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver had been looking for.

Irving has been under fire since he posted the link on Twitter last week. He initially defended it over the weekend in a post-game conference but has since deleted the post.

The seven-time All Star made a public statement again after Mr Silver criticised him for showing a lack of remorse.

"I didn't mean to cause any harm," Irving said. "I'm not the one who made the documentary."

He was also asked whether, in hindsight, he was sorry for the hurt his post had caused people.

"I take my responsibility for posting that," Irving said. "Some things that were questionable in there, untrue.

"Like I said in the first time you guys asked me when I was sitting on that stage, I don't believe everything that everybody posts. It's a documentary."

In a joint statement on Wednesday with the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League, Irving said he opposed all forms of hatred.

He and the Nets said they would each donate $500,000 towards organisations that work to eradicate hate.

Irving's apology comes after companies ended their relationship with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, because of his anti-Semitic comments that drew widespread backlash and condemnation.

His remarks also fuelled anti-Semitic threats and actions in the Los Angeles community.

Meanwhile, the FBI in New Jersey issued a warning that it is investigating a "broad" and "credible threat" towards the Jewish community.

The FBI Newark office released a statement urging synagogues to “take all security precautions to protect your community and facility".

Jersey City's mayor said police would be posted at the city’s seven synagogues and foot patrols would be added for the broader Jewish community.

Anti-Semitic incidents in the US hit an all-time high in 2021, with 2,717 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism reported to the Anti-Defamation League.

In the past few weeks, a sign was vandalised with swastikas and set on fire in Chico, California, while a bomb threat was made against the Jewish Community Centre in Detroit.

News agencies contributed reporting

Updated: November 03, 2022, 10:00 PM
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