Kyrie Irving declared on Wednesday that he despises all types of hatred and that the Brooklyn Nets and he will each contribute $500,000 to organizations that fight against it.
As the Nets and their star guard attempted to quell the resentment that had been thrown at them following Irving’s Twitter tweet and unwillingness to retract it, Irving took responsibility for the harm that his appearance to support an antisemitic work had brought to the Jewish community.
In a joint statement with the Nets and Anti-Defamation League, Irving stated, “I abhor all kinds of intolerance and injustice and stand strong with communities who are oppressed and harmed every day.”
The NBA had criticized Irving for sharing a link to the movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on his Twitter feed last week including Nets owner Joe Tsai.
Irving stated, “I don’t think everything expressed in the documentary was true or represented my values and ideas. I hope to learn from people from all walks of life with an open mind and a desire to listen.
Since Saturday, when he forcefully asserted his right to post about what he believes, Irving had not spoken. Since then, he avoided speaking with media after either of the Nets’ home games, one of which included spectators sitting courtside wearing “Fight Antisemitism” shirts.
Sam Zussman, the CEO of BSE Global, the parent company of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, declared that “there is no tolerance for antisemitism, bigotry, false narratives or foolish attempts to promote hostility and hate.”
“There is a solid need to guarantee education in these areas now more than ever. We are acting on our earlier declarations because deeds speak louder than words.
To combat racism and antisemitism in all its forms, Irving and the Nets will collaborate with the ADL to promote inclusive educational programming.
The Nets and the ADL held discussions about how best to respond to the aftermath around Irving, who was not penalized by the team or the NBA, general manager Sean Marks said on Tuesday.
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said, “At a time when antisemitism has reached historic heights, we believe the greatest approach to battle the oldest hatred is to confront it head-on and transform hearts and minds.”
The Nets also stated that they would team up with the ADL, other national civil rights organizations, and neighborhood community associations to organize a series of community talks at Barclays Center and the WNBA’s New York Liberty.