Nov 3, 2022 - Sports

NBA commissioner wants "unqualified apology" from Kyrie Irving for sharing antisemitic film

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on from the bench.

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets looks on from the bench. Photo: Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday he is "disappointed" that Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving did not apologize for posting a link to a film that contained "deeply offensive antisemitic material."

Why it matters: In his statement, Silver stopped short of levying a suspension or handing down a more serious punishment for the Brooklyn Nets star.

Catch up quick: Irving has faced massive backlash after posting a link to the 2018 movie "Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America," which is based on a book of the same name that is full of antisemitic tropes.

  • Former NBA players have denounced Irving for posting the link, which Irving has since taken down. Some, including Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, have called for his suspension, per USA Today.

The latest: Silver said Thursday that Irving "made a reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive antisemitic material."

  • "I am disappointed that he has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize," Silver said.
  • The NBA commissioner said he plans to meet with Irving in the next week "to discuss the situation."

In response to the backlash, the Brooklyn Nets and Irving announced Wednesday that they will each donate $500,000 to the Anti-Defamation League to promote better educational opportunities and raise awareness about societal challenges.

  • Irving took responsibility for posting the link in the statement, saying, "I oppose all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day.”

Flashback: Irving previously double-down on sharing the antisemitic video during a news conference after the Nets' loss to the Indiana Pacers at the end of October. He had a heated exchange with ESPN reporter Nick Friedell, who pressed Irving about the decision.

  • After Friedell asked Irving why he promoted the film, the NBA star said it wasn't promotion and asked the ESPN reporter to move on and not to "dehumanize me."
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