Kyrie Irving apologises after suspension for posting anti-Semitic documentary

Anti-Defamation League rejects donation from Brooklyn Nets star

Kyrie Irving was suspended for at least five games by the Brooklyn Nets for his failure to apologise for sharing an anti-Semitic documentary. AFP
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US basketball star Kyrie Irving issued an apology on Thursday night for posting a documentary on social media containing anti-Semitic views and conspiracy theories, hours after the Brooklyn Nets suspended him without pay.

Irving's apology, posted on Instagram, comes a week after he shared the since-deleted tweet.

He acknowledged the video “contained some false anti-Semitic statements, narratives and language that were untrue and offensive to the Jewish race/religion”.

However he also indicated there were “specific beliefs” in the video that he agreed with, without elaborating further.

Irving went on to apologise to the Jewish community.

“To all Jewish families and communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologise,” Irving said in the Instagram post.

Earlier on Thursday, the Nets suspended the basketball star for at least five games without pay after he failed to apologise during a media scrum.

“We were dismayed today when, given the opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no anti-Semitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film,” the basketball team said in a statement.

“Such failure to disavow anti-Semitism when given a clear opportunity is deeply disturbing.”

The Nets said he would be suspended “until he satisfies a series of remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct”.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had also expressed disappointment that Irving did not issue a full apology when given the chance on Thursday afternoon. Mr Silver said he would meet Irving in person next week to discuss the situation.

The Anti-Defamation League, an international Jewish NGO specialising in civil rights law, rejected a donation of $500,000 from Irving after the media session.

Updated: November 04, 2022, 3:22 PM