On Thursday, Kyrie Irving posted a link to a movie on his Twitter account that is based off of a book promotes a number of anti-semitic tropes — which are broken down in full here by Jon Blistein of Rolling Stone — leading to the yet another controversy regarding his social media posts.
In the days since, the Nets and the NBA have each issued a vague statement condemning “hate speech” without addressing Irving specifically or even noting what he did to prompt the statements.
The NBA issued the following statement: pic.twitter.com/vuTVhEegeh
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) October 29, 2022
“The Brooklyn Nets strongly condemn and have no tolerance for the promotion of any form of hate speech,” the team wrote. “We believe that in these situations, our first action must be open, honest dialogue. We thank those, including the ADL, who have been supportive during this time.”
Nets owner Joe Tsai did, however, address it head on, and said he wants to sit down with Irving and explain why his promotion of an anti-semitic film is hurtful and wrong.
I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation. I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity or religion.
— Joe Tsai (@joetsai1999) October 29, 2022
Irving then posted a non-apology to his Twitter, while leaving the initial tweet up, saying he meant no disrespect to anyone’s beliefs while then trying to paint himself as a victim for having the “anti-semitic label pushed on me,” which is indeed what happens when you promote anti-semitic movies.
I am an OMNIST and I meant no disrespect to anyone’s religious beliefs. The “Anti-Semitic” label that is being pushed on me is not justified and does not reflect the reality or truth I live in everyday. I embrace and want to learn from all walks of life and religions.
— Hélà (@KyrieIrving) October 29, 2022
On the Nets broadcast on Saturday night, Richard Jefferson addressed the entire situation in stronger terms than the team or the league, while explaining why Irving is in the wrong, why he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt after previous missteps like posting an Alex Jones clip to his Instagram, and why his apology rings hollow if the initial tweet remains up.
Richard Jefferson calls out Kyrie Irving on YES broadcast: "…It is disappointing, Kyrie says that he's not antisemitic and these things, but the tweet is still up. The tweet is still up there." #Nets pic.twitter.com/d98Q5rcAjw
— Jennifer X. Williams (@JenXperience) October 30, 2022
It is well done by Jefferson to address this on the Nets broadcast rather than trying to ignore it or dance around it. He lays out exactly why it matters what Irving posts to his social media considering his platform and how irresponsible it is to promote a film peddling in anti-semitic tropes.