Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving After tweeting a link to the 2018 film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” he was asked Thursday if he was apologizing, saying he meant no offense.
“I meant no harm,” Irving replied. “I’m not the one who made the documentary.”
Irving was condemned by Nets owner Joe Tsai and the NBA last week for tweeting a link to a movie based on Ronald Dalton’s book of the same name.
When he met with the media on Thursday, Irving said: “I take full responsibility, and I’ll say it again, that there may be some unfortunate falsehoods on my Instagram or Twitter.
“I take responsibility for posting it,” Irving continued. “Some of it is suspiciously untrue.
“When I was sitting on that stage you all listened to me like it was the first time. I don’t believe everything everyone posts. This is a documentary. So, I accept my responsibility.
Asked if he held anti-Semitic beliefs, Irving replied: “I respect people from all walks of life. I embrace all sides. That’s where I sit.”
When pressed to answer yes or no to the question, he replied: “I can’t be anti-Semitic if I know where I come from.”
Irving’s media appearance came after he and the Brooklyn Nets announced on Wednesday that both would donate $500,000 to anti-hate organizations after the point guard tweeted the documentary.
Irving, the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League — a nonprofit organization “dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred that undermine justice and fair treatment for every individual” — said the 30-year-old was “responsible.” For the “negative impact” his post had on the Jewish community.
“I stand against all forms of hate and oppression and stand strong with marginalized and vulnerable communities every day,” Irving said.
“I am aware of the negative impact of my position on the Jewish community and I take responsibility. I do not believe that everything stated in the documentary was true or reflected my morals and principles.
“I am a human being, I learn from all walks of life and I want to do this with an open mind and a willingness to listen. So from my family, I do no harm to any group, race or religion and only want to be a beacon of truth and light.
Earlier this week, NBA analyst and Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said he thought the league “dropped the ball” on Irving and believed the player should have been suspended.
On Tuesday, when asked why Irving wasn’t disciplined for his actions, Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters: “I think we’re having these discussions behind the scenes.
“I really don’t want to get into them right now. … I’m really trying to weigh what the best course of action is here.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver says he’s “disappointed” in Irving that the guard didn’t apologize or condemn the “harmful content in the movie he chose to promote.” Friday will meet with Irving next week, the commissioner said in a statement Thursday.
“Gary Irving made a reckless decision to post a link to an image containing deeply offensive antisemitic material,” Silver said.
“We appreciate that he has agreed to work with the Brooklyn Nets and the Anti-Defamation League to combat antisemitism and other forms of discrimination, but he has not offered an unqualified apology, and has not specifically condemned the vulgar and harmful content contained in the movie he chose to promote.”
Irving was not available to the media on the Monday or Tuesday following Nets games on those days.
The joint statement said the donations were made to “eliminate hatred and intolerance in our communities”.
“This is an effort to develop educational programming that is inclusive and fully combats bigotry and bigotry in all its forms,” the statement said.
Jonathan Greenblatt, Anti-Defamation League CEO, said: “At a time when anti-Semitism has reached historic levels, we know that the best way to combat age-old hate is to confront it head-on and change hearts and minds.
“Through this partnership, the ADL will work with the Nets and Kyrie to open dialogue and increase understanding.
“At the same time, we will maintain our vigilance and use anti-Semitic stereotypes and tropes – no matter what, whoever or wherever – as we work towards a world that does not hate.”
Kanye WestA regular critic of anti-Semitic comments on social media and in interviews, tweeted a picture of the guard on Thursday to show his support for Irving.
Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has previously said that Jewish people have too much control in the business world.
In his Twitter post, he threatened to “Give 3 deaths to the Jewish people.” In an Instagram post about Ari Emanuel, CEO of talent agency Endeavor, he refers to “business” people when he clearly refers to Jews.
Last Friday, she told the paparazzi that her mental health issues had been misdiagnosed by a Jewish doctor, railed against Jewish media ownership and compared Planned Parenthood to the Holocaust.
“Total coffee maven. Extreme web geek. Award-winning explorer. Travel aficionado.”